Winter is cold and flu season. It is impossible to avoid contact with everyone who may have a cough or cold.
Practicing good etiquette can help us stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs.
Here are some tips to help keep bugs at bay.
Wash your hands
All defense starts with soap and water. Washing your hands frequently is your best ally against contracting bugs.
When cold season starts, prepare a kit. Keep one in your desk and one in your car. Include tissues, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, and throat lozenges. Being prepared with these essentials will make your fight easier.
Germs travel into our bodies through our mucous membranes. Learning to keep your hands away from your face, mouth and eyes is an effective way to stop the spread of germs.
Always cover your mouth and nose, when you sneeze or cough. Cough or blow directly into a tissue. Never cough or sneeze into your bare hands. Always have tissue.
Don't put used tissue in your pocket or purse. Germs are still present. Always put in a wastebasket. Or keep a plastic bag in your purse and place them there. Never reuse used tissue.
If you do not have tissue available, then your elbow is where you should direct coughs or sneezes. Germs cannot survive on fabric. Being prepared with tissue means this will never happen.
Your cell phone, desk, door knobs, and the computer keyboard are all hot beds for germs. Use disinfectant wipes to keep your devices and surfaces clean.
Being distracted by a phone call, text, or game is no excuse to suspend the rules of courtesy. Always cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Shaking hands when you have a cold is discouraged. There are times however when it is impossible to avoid. Use hand sanitizer frequently. If you are visibly ill, coughing, blowing, and complaining about your state, the best etiquette would be for you to remain home.
The final tip is to use good judgement. If you are ill, respect the public and your colleagues. Stay home.