Since the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is well on its way to becoming Public Enemy Number One / full-blown pandemic, here are some tips for not ending up quarantined in a foreign country and becoming the next statistic.
This has been my approach for over a decade:
Wash your hands OFTEN
This is the most important piece of advice I can offer you. Lather and scrub your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds (Sing “happy birthday to you” while scrubbing. This is the right amount of time.)
- Use the hand sanitizers wherever you see them.
- Report empty sanitizers to staff immediately.
- Never touch any railings.
People sneeze into their hands, pick their noses and run their hands down railings. These are toxic breeding grounds for infection.
For the same reason:
- Use elbow or knuckles to activate elevator buttons, light switches, etc.
- Better yet, never use elevators. A packed elevator is almost guaranteed to contain just ONE sick passenger. That’s all it takes.
- Lean into doors or use elbows to open them. Don’t use hands to open doors.
- In restrooms, use a paper towel / toilet paper to open / close / lock / unlock the door, then toss it.
- When someone sneezes ahead of you, hold your breath and detour around the droplet field or better yet, put it in reverse immediately and take a different path.
- Don’t shake hands or hug ANYONE. Use the Vulcan “live well and prosper” hand greeting.
- Generally avoid people who seem unwell.
- If you start to develop symptoms, like a sore throat, gargle frequently with an alcohol based mouthwash. I find this can sideline a lot of viral infections.
- Masks are excellent for keeping you from touching your face – and not much else. This is crucial. You pick up viral infections from surfaces and transmit them to your face where they enter your body through eyes, nose and mouth.
- The average mask will not protect you from viral contaminants. Only N95 rated masks that are correctly fitted offer you any real protection.
- If you yourself are sick, wearing a mask will reduce the amount of expectorant you will transmit into the air and keep you from infecting others. Therefore, the only time a face mask is truly beneficial is when you are trying to NOT become Typhoid Mary and a pariah on your trip.
Best of luck. Come back with great stories and no viruses.
Feel free to comment with your own tips. I’m sure y’all have come up with things I have not thought of.