No doubt you've all heard "Wash your hands" and "Cover when you cough/sneeze!”, especially lately, due to the flu spreading far and wide, till you could scream. Like many, you also may think catching the latest bug will never happen to you. After all, you take vitamins every day, you may even have had a flu shot. Considering the current vaccine is geared to last year’s outbreak, and what we’re all suffering from now is a new virus, that isn’t the ultimate in protection. In addition to this misery, there are more than enough other germs in abundance, all eager to hitch a ride from wherever their last host left them, on you. Take a look at the following scenarios--all everyday occurrences:
- You're at the public library, in the restroom, and notice someone exiting a stall. He/she doesn't stop to wash their hands before leaving. Do you really want to touch that door handle now?
- You go to use a library computer and have to wait for an available spot. The first one free was being used by a kid who's been picking his nose with both hands between his use of the keyboard and mouse. Grab your hand sanitizer, quick!
- The library patron next to you turns his head to cough up both lungs, from the sound of it--unfortunately, he turns directly toward you--and doesn't cover.
- You take the bus home; it's crowded, so you have to stand. You're holding onto the overhead rail which has obvious fingerprints all over. The woman next to you is sneezing repeatedly but needs one hand for the rail, the other for her child's hand.
Not only colds and flu, but listeria, E. coli, shigella, TB...these and many more germs await you in addition to the current "favorite", influenza. It can take only a moment to spread. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to wash your hands, though, for a recommended duration of at least twenty seconds. Unfortunately, most public restrooms today do not have hot water. In such cases it’s wise to drag along a small bottle of hand sanitizer. If that is not possible (face it, they do sometimes leak) there are small disposable handwipes in foil pouches that are easy to carry in pockets. So bear with the repetitive advice. At the very least, you won't also have to listen to "I told you so!"