The Coronavirus; is this how we die? No! Wash your damn hands!

The Coronavirus; is this how we die? No! Wash your damn hands!

Full disclosure, I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional, but I am very well read and informed. I also travel (on planes) for work a lot; and have lots of friends who also travel for work, so I do feel that I have some valuable precautions to share.

First of all, let’s put things into perspective; statistically speaking if you live in North America you’re more likely to die from a shark attack or a snake bite than you are from the Coronavirus. That being said, it’s freaking scary to hear how fast it’s spreading every time you turn on your computer or the television.

There have been 80,026 ish cases reported in China so far, which sounds like a lot, but to put things in perspective, again; the population of China is estimated at over 1.428 Billion!!

And if you want something to be afraid of; here are some stats that should scare the shit out of you! The US CDC estimates that influenza, which is the flu that goes around every year, has affected (made sick) 9 million to 45 million people since 2010! Of those 140,000 to 810,000 needed to be hospitalized and between 12,000 to 61,000 have died… from the regular flu!

Can you imagine what life would be like if CNN started keeping count of everyone who was hospitalized and died from the flu? People would never leave their homes.

So let’s all calm the F down a little, because here’s the thing; the Coronavirus numbers are just going to keep increasing as more people are tested. So let’s chill out a bit and see what we can do to protect ourselves from the actual flu and not just the Coronavirus.

Wash your damn hands!

It maybe a bit frustrating to be told that over and over again; but even with all of our advances in science, the best way to prevent ourselves from getting the flu is still to wash our hands.

Here’s a shocker; most of us aren’t washing our hands properly. That’s right, most of us need a reminder on how to properly wash our hands! A squirt of soap and a few seconds under the tap isn’t going to cut it anymore.

wash your hands

You should be lathering up for at least 20 seconds! And get a cloth ready so that when done, you don’t have to touch the dirty faucet with your clean hands.

DON’T use bathroom air dryers!!!

If you only retain one thing from this post, please let it be this point! I speak from experience on this one; I got the nastiest flu a few years ago while traveling and I am convinced I got it from bathroom air dryers.

Think about it for a minute; the air dryer pulls air from the bathroom and heats it up, then spits it out onto your freshly cleaned hands! This may give you nightmares; but do you know what floats around in the air in bathrooms? Fecal particles and other funky bacteria are floating around in there! And the heat from the dryers just makes all those things grow faster.

Some air dryers now have HEPA filters that will cut down some, but not all, of the funky stuff growing in the dryers. But how do you know if the mall’s air dryer has a HEPA filter? You don’t! So wash your hands and get the hell out of that bathroom, with your hands dripping wet, as quickly as possible, lol.

I’ve starting hoarding napkins in my purse; if I encounter a bathroom with air dryers only, I am all set! I’ve also started carrying a packet of disinfectant wet towelettes with me; which leads us to our next tip.

Disinfectant Stuff

I have never been paranoid about germs and I still don’t think we should be overly obsessed; but I do think we need to create new habits for our new reality. One of my new habits is that I carry a plastic baggie in my purse that contains wet wipes and a small bottle of hand gel sanitizer. Make sure that the ones that you buy contain 60% alcohol. You should probably also throw in a small tube of hand lotion; all that washing and sanitizing is going to dry out your hands.

As mentioned above, I keep a small stash of napkins in my purse as well; perfect for drying my hands or if I need to touch something that looks gross, lol.

When Flying

A few weeks ago I shared a post on how to not get sick while flying; here is the link if you want to read: https://oui-liette.org/2020/01/27/how-to-not-get-sick-on-a-germ-infested-airplane/

Part of my new flying habit is that before getting settled in my seat, I wipe down every possible surface around me; window, tray table, arm rests, head rests… with an extra large Lysol pack that I have in my travel bag; on my last flight, I shared with my seat neighbor, he was very thankful.

I also have a baggie in my purse with latex gloves; yes, my purse is filled with various baggies, lol. I try really hard to avoid having to use the washrooms on board, but if I do need to go, I am ready! I put on a pair of latex gloves; I leave the bathroom without washing my hands; I remove my gloves and put them in a separate baggie and then wipe my hands with my towelettes. Latex gloves would also be a great option for really scuzzy bathrooms, not just airplanes bathrooms.

Do you need a mask?

Authorities are telling us no; and that we should stop buying them so that they are available for medical workers. Most of the masks that you see people wearing don’t actually block the virus out anyway; only the N95 masks will actually help prevent you from getting sick.

I have an N95 mask, my local pharmacy had a bunch on display the other day so I grabbed one. I will keep it in my travel bag in case of an emergency. What will constitute an emergency? Maybe someone sitting next to me who is clearly sick?

Other precautions

  • Don’t touch your face; this one is a tough one for me. I am forever touching my face, but am trying to be more mindful.
  • Stop shaking hands; chances are the person you are shaking hands with doesn’t really want to shake your hand either?
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow, a tissue; just cover your mouth with anything, but your hands. Then just to be safe, sanitize your hands after anyway.
  • If you do get a cold or are not feeling well, stay home!
  • In addition to creating a plastic baggie of disinfectant stash for your purse or travel bag; it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a mini survival kit for your home.
    • If something happened that you would need to stay in your home for a week or two; what would you need?
    • This is something you should have for natural emergencies and disasters; not just for this darn virus. Being prepared is never a bad idea!

I hope this post helped put a few things into perspective and has helped to calm your fear, just a bit?

Thanks for reading; feel free to share! And please, wash your damn hands!!! No seriously, go wash your hands…now!! And when was the last time you disinfected your phone or keyboard??

Muah!

Liette

 

How to not get sick on a germ infested airplane.

 

How to not get sick on a germ infested airplane.

I just flew back from Vancouver on Friday and I’m packing for a trip to London on Wednesday.

As I was walking through the Vancouver airport, I couldn’t help but think and worry about the coronavirus that seems to be spreading; especially since Vancouver has so many Chinese and Canadians flying in between both countries.

I’m always worried about getting the flu while traveling, and realistically, the flu will affect more flyers than the coronavirus will; but it still seems a bit scary.

My mom, who never really worries about me traveling; told me yesterday that I should get a mask to wear on the plane. And then this morning, my friend Shary posted a video on how to protect yourself while flying.

So I am sharing a few tips from that video and a few others that I regularly practice.

Pre-flight

– Vitamine Boost: I load up on vitamines leading up to any important trip. Traveling is exhausting and you’re more likely to get sick if you’re run down and tired; so I try to be proactive.

– Hydrate: I try to drink as much water as possible, not just when flying; I do feel it just helps your overall health. If you aren’t a regular heavy water drinker; I suggest you try to drink a more leading up to your flight.

In- Flight Tips

Tip # 1 – Disinfect! Disinfect! Disinfect!!

I’ve always known that the inside of an airplane is basically a giant petri dish. I used to try not to dwell on it, but I’ve just added disinfectant wipes to my travel bag. Moving forward, before sitting my butt down in my seat, I’ll be wiping down all surfaces; from my seat and headrest to my seatbelt buckle and window.

Tip # 2 – Rubber Glove It!

I think there is a fine line between being careful and being paranoid. I can’t see myself wearing gloves the whole flight, but I am packing a few pairs of latex gloves that I’ll put on if I need to go to the restroom. I suggest wearing them if you need to go and then pop them in a plastic baggy; the same one that you will put your used wipes in after your wipe down.

I try my best to avoid having to go to the rest room on flights. I load up on water the day before my flight, but I don’t drink a lot on the actual flight.

Tip # 3 – Drinks? No thank you!

This is going to be a hard one for some of you, but I suggest not drinking anything from the stewardess or steward in flight. For sure say no to the water they serve, it’s from a huge tank. Guess who else, besides me, don’t drink that water? Most flight crews!! They bring their own bottled water.

I  also suggest that you say no to anything served in one is those plastic cups. The air on planes is recycled, so don’t put your mouth on anything that is out in the open or that others are touching.

Ask for the can of pop and bring your own straw if you must? I bring my own water bottle that I sip during the flight.

Tip #4 – Have mask, will travel.

There were lots of travelers in Vancouver wearing masks in the airport and a few on my flight. I’ve never worn one before, but I just added a few to my travel bag. Coronavirus or not, there is nothing worse than boarding a long flight and hearing that one passenger cough that horrible cough, you know that super gross wet cough.

I think if you’re the one coughing, you should be the one wearing the mask; I wish the airline would hand them out to anyone who looks sick, mmmm what a great idea!

I will be putting a mask on if I get stuck sitting near anyone who looks or sounds sick; better safe than sorry.

Tip #5 – DO NOT USE RESTROOMS AIR DRYERS!!!

This tip is not just when you travel or fly, this needs to be a new lifestyle rule! And here’s why; a few years ago I was visiting casinos with my coworker, I’ll call her Mary, because that’s her name, lol. Anyway Mary and I were on the road in Vancouver actually, going from casino to casino, drinking lots of water and coffee along the way.

I’m pretty sure we visited a dozen casino restrooms (bathrooms for my US readers) that week and each one had those had air dryers.

The night before we left YVR, Mary said her throat was starting to tickle; and by the next morning she was full on sick with a fever.

We were on different flights; I kept checking in on her to see how she was doing. I felt so bad for her, traveling when you feel like shit is the worst!

I felt fine until that evening when I got home. Like Mary, my throat started to tickle and by the time I was ready for bed, I had a high fever.

Long story short, we were both sick with some funky antibiotic resistant strain of, I am not sure what? We both had several trips to the clinic and both of us needed several different types of meds before we got better.

I’ve never been that sick in my life; and in case you’re  wondering, yes I do get my flu shot every year.

While I was bed bound, I saw this report on how restroom air dryers are the perfect distributors for bacterias and germs. I will spare you the gory details, but I am convinced that’s how Mary and I got sick. And I’ve not use one of those air dryers since and I never ever willI again! I suggest you do the same.

Wish me luck on my next trip, I am going to do my best to stay healthy! Fly safe to all the snowbirds getting ready to head south.

It’s also a great to update your suitcase emergency stash every once in awhile. I’ve just bought new supplies for mine.

AF9D281B-2B1B-4C72-8F60-83CBC2086ABE
Since I travel a lot, I have things that I don’t unpack. In addition to my emergency pack, I also have a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a razor and a lint brush that stay in my suitcase. It makes packing a lot quicker!

Oh and I have some cool, super cute, oui-liette travel stuff coming up shortly!!

Thanks for reading, be well!! Like, share or leave a comment!

muah!

Liette

Facebook: @oui-liette