Traveling Healthy In a Germ Filled World!
First concern when traveling by plane is that sneezing and coughing person next to you in those crowded seats. Opting not to wear a face mask this writer chooses to dose with vitamin tablets, orange juice, and always, always carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Also, there are little packets of towelettes for wiping down surfaces in those crowded little bathrooms. Ahhh, don’t forget the tray surface you eat off of, wipe it too. People you don’t know have touched it, sneezed on it, spilled who knows what??? on it, so wipe it down.
Traveling by car gives a false sense of germ-free security. Remember that every surface you touch has germs, and germs crawl. (Ugh!) That public restroom makes me say “Dear Lord, please never let me get so old that I can no longer flush the toilet with my foot”. So, there it is, that flusher you touch with your hand; someone like me has used my filthy shoe bottom to flush. That door knob was touched by someone that maybe did not have clean hands. The faucet is good for water, but someone else touched it to turn it on and off, and then touched the towel dispenser or hand dryer and who knows if they used soap. (Ugh! Again!) A question to ponder, — would you leave the bathroom without washing your hands if there was no one else in there to notice? If you would, so would everyone else. More germs! (And, you eat with those hands!) A small bottle of hand sanitizer to be used as you leave the bathroom is a great thing!
Let’s talk about shopping carts. Many stores now have sanitizing wipes by the shopping carts for folks to wipe off the handles, and this is a good idea. Take a minute and wipe that handle off, you have no idea who sneezed on their hands and then grabbed that cart and went shopping. Do not let your baby sit in that cart seat without wiping it off. Little kids lean forward and put their mouths on the handle of the cart all the time, — germ, germ, germ! There are shopping cart covers for children that wrap around the seats and over the handle, keeping baby away from some of the “cooties”, a good purchase for yourself, your baby, or as a shower gift.
Hotel rooms. Yes, they are cleaned and supposedly sanitized. I have seen housekeepers leave the bathroom with rubber gloves on after cleaning all surfaces in there, and touch my towels and sheets with same rubber gloves. Geesh, talk about send me over the edge! What to do? I always carry Lysol spray with me, and I carry about 2 ounces of bleach in a small bottle. With a small amount of bleach mixed in water I can wipe down most surfaces and kill most germs. Lysol sanitizes my sheets and towels with a fresh scent to boot!
This is only a small sample of the germ challenges we face each day, and they are magnified when traveling. As we cannot stay in our own bubble, we must take steps to protect ourselves when out in the world. Without becoming a fanatic, and not becoming overly obsessive, it’s easy to take some steps to help protect yourselves from flu, virus, and pestilence. By protecting yourself a little, you are teaching others to do the same by example, (others being friends, kids, grand-kids, and maybe a stranger that observes you taking steps to be ‘bug-free’.
This writer/traveler is trying to stay healthy, and hopes to help readers to do the same. Grab your Lysol and hand sanitizer and see the sites! Oh, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, I have to breathe that air too!