There is definitely a sense of excitement and buzz of seasonal spirit in the air as you head through the airport on you thanksgiving trip to see you family. But, what really has you on the edge of your seat is what else could be wafting in the air. Then you hear it, the unmistakable sound of a fellow flight passenger a few rows back coughing or sneezing into the air.
That’s it! Whatever bacterial or viral plague that fellow was incubating is now rampant in the cabin.
To be sure, this is no dramatized horror. According to a report in a 2011 Wall Street Journal article “travelling by plane makes you 20% more likely to catch a common cold”. Furthermore, maybe it was not the coughing person a few rows back but the previous occupant of the seat you are in that left you with a poor health package.
But, there are some ways the health-conscious voyager can make it from point “A” to point “B” safe from illness. Here are some steps to take:
GET READY – before you travel, make sure you are up to date on your flu shots and well-supplied with plenty of probiotics. Vitamin C is a great disease fighter so be sure you have taken your pills or eaten your oranges and broccoli.
CHOOSE YOUR SEAT CAREFULLY – you can expect a greater and more diverse population of contaminants, toxins and diseases around the aisle seats. Sitting by the window reduces your exposure to the full microscopic safari park.
CLEAN YOUR SPACE – ignore the sneering faces and whip out your portable bottle of Lysol for a quick sanitization of your seat before you sit down. Wipe down all the solid surfaces and anything else you are likely to contact during the long flight. Never place anything in that seat pocket either as it is never cleaned and you never know what you’ll find there – could be a Rolex, could salmonella.
KEEP YOUR AIR VENT OPEN – take advantage of that curative and perfectly sanitized stream of air that is coming through those air vents, it can help keep you safe from pathogens floating in your vicinity.
WASH YOUR HANDS & DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE – carry a hand sanitizer with you and use it as often as you’d like. Be sure to keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, ears, mouth and nose during the flight as this is where the bacteria will enter the body.
STAY HYDRATED – the air on the flight is at about 15% humidity and this is much less than the 30% to 60% that most of us are used to. To counter this, bring bottled water and drink 8 oz. each hour you are on the flight.
If you see folks wearing facemasks, you can bet that these people will not be arriving at their loved one’s home disease-ridden. A face mask will filter 95% of all airborne particles and is 90% effective at avoiding diseases. It’s not an attractive fashion statement, but it keeps you safe from sickness.
Your travels should always be fun and exciting not a horrific tale of sickness and disease. By taking the steps mentioned above, you can keep yourself and your travelling companions safe and happy during the holidays.