by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
After spending nearly six days in bed with a nasty case of the flu, I decided it was a good time to share my top tips for keeping you and your family safe from germs. These are good reminders I follow and share with my kids and employees. Best of all, they work when you use them! (At the end, I share where my tips failed me.)
- Always have your own writing pens with you to sign things. I sign all receipts with my own pen and then give one promoting my business to the clerk at gas stations, banks, pharmacies, and stores.
- At work, label your pens to avoid them being picked up and used by others who may be carrying an illness.
- Buy a bottle of hand sanitizer for your desk and spray surface sanitizer on your chairs, phone, desktop, and keyboard. This is especially important if you have someone else working on your computer. Use hand sanitizers all day, everyday!
- Make sure your purse, pockets, laptop case, car, and kids' lunch boxes are always fully stocked with sanitizing wipes.
- Wash clothing that touches public seating including jeans, jackets, bottom of purses, coats, and scarves.
- Wash your hands with soap under hot running water. My personal tip is to wash for the amount of time it takes me to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Or, for good Catholics, a Hail Mary. It ensures that I've washed for long enough and helps me get my prayers in.
- Change your pillow cases and hand towels twice a week.
- Replace your toothbrush after having any virus.
- Use the hottest setting on your dishwasher. Make sure to hand wash all lunch boxes, pails and coffee thermoses with hot, soapy water.
- When dining out, use straws. Don't sip from cups or glasses.
- Use your knuckles to push elevator buttons, and practice opening the door with your elbow or tissue. In winter, I use driving gloves, which are washed every night.
- Cough and sneeze into your arm. Remind others to do the same.
- Never pick up someone else’s baby if you are sick or have not washed your hands.
- Stay home if you feel sick; your co-workers and boss will appreciate this!
Normally, following these tips keep me well, even when those around me are picking up every bug that goes around. So how did my tips fail me this time? I'd been in a number of local medical clinics, with waiting rooms filled with sick patients. I had just run out of disinfectant wipes both in my car and purse. All I had with me were diaper wipes; definitely not the same as evidenced by my six days of sickness.
Chances are you will come into contact with some germs, but you can prevent catching most illnesses by following these simple tips.