8 Tips on Keeping Germs to Yourself!

Isn’t it the worst luck to catch a cold or flu just when a great party takes place?  I know I hate missing parties.  What about not being able to miss work after being away for summer vacation, so you go in anyway and risk being criticized for spreading germs.  Or, if you don’t have a cold yourself, how do you keep from catching someone else’s germs and catching one?

Here’s how to get through a busy cold and flu season without infecting everyone else and how to keep the bugs at bay when people around you are infected:

1. Cough and sneeze in your arm or sleeve: It’s the best way to avoid spreading germs. If you haven’t broken the habit of coughing or sneezing into your hands, do it immediately! Your hands are the number one way of spreading germs everywhere.

2. Wash your hands as often as possible: We all hear this over and over again, yet how many of us truly take this to heart and do it? We must!

 If you have access to a nearby washroom, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a recommended 10 to 15 seconds several times a day. 

When on the street, on a bus, cab, or at a party, keep your hands free from germs by using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Most brands, such as Purell now come in miniature bottles and sheet-packets, making them easy to carry in your wallet, purse, pocket, and even on the airplane.

 I keep bottles of hand sanitizers throughout my home, at my desk, in the car, and in my purse at all times. You may want to do the same.

3. Wipe all items you and others handle. Use sanitizing wipes to clean those items you and others touch regularly. That includes telephone receivers and doorknobs in your home and office, plus the stapler, computer keyboard and screen, copy machine, and steering wheel of your car.

4. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash before leaving the house. Since childhood, most of us have built the habit of visiting the bathroom before going out. Take an extra minute to brush your teeth and use mouthwash. It will freshen your breath and keep germs from spreading.

5. Carry tissues at all times. You never know when they may come in handy or be necessary. You don’t want to look around for one desperately at the most inopportune times!

6. Wear a nose and mouth mask: More often we see construction workers wearing face-masks to keep from being breathing in dust and other harmful particles. In many parts of the world this same kind of mask is worn by many at work or on the street to keep germs to themselves. Although we may think this extreme or embarrassing, it is a most considerate gesture.

7. Use a cold remedy: I’m not a person who likes to take pills of any kind. However, when I must attend a meeting or event where I don’t want to be sneezing and coughing in front of others, I will take a non-prescription cold remedy. This will not only mask the symptoms of the cold to make me feel better, but it will also help everyone around me be more at ease.

8. What to do: Now that you’ve gained a few insights on germ prevention, I suspect you now know how to answer these two questions I get asked most often throughout the year:

“What should I do when I have to shake the hand of a person I just saw sneezing into their hand?”

“If I have a cold while attending a party, should I tell people I don’t want to shake their hand out of courtesy, so as not to spread my germs?”

In both instances you MUST shake the person’s hand. In the first scenario, you may want to make a mad dash to “discreetly” wash your hands before doing anything else.  In the second scenario, say nothing, but keep your hands clean and take all the precautions described above by washing often and using sanitizing wipes or liquid regularly.

Happy (and sanitary) Practicing!

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3 Responses to "8 Tips on Keeping Germs to Yourself!"

  • Karen V. says:
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