We’re starting to go back to work, heading back to the office and returning to the job site. People are coming out of their houses and trying to return to normal life. But we still need to take precautions and make sure we’re keeping ourselves safe, even on our commute.
There are a few precautions you can take to keep yourself healthy, but they’re not just important for the next few months. When we start dealing with the regular cold and flu season in about five months, you’ll want to follow these precautions then too.
1. WASH YOUR HANDS AND CARRY HAND SANITIZER
We touch so many surfaces, whether we’re aware of it or not, that we don’t pay much attention to what we’re actually doing. Germs can linger on surfaces and you may not even think about opening a door or grabbing an item, holding onto a pole on the bus, pushing off on a seat on the train, or even opening a door.
When you’re commuting, especially on public transit, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands as soon as you have access to soap and water, and carry some hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer won’t replace hand washing, but it’s better than not doing anything.
2. KEEP SIX FEET FROM OTHER PEOPLE
This one is especially hard if you live in a place like New York City, Boston, or the Washington DC area and you take mass transit to get around. So you may need to consider taking earlier or later trains and buses. Take a seat in the back or in a corner, and set a bag in the seat next to you, if there aren’t too many people onboard with you.
It’s also important to recognize someone who may be sick. If they’re coughing, sneezing, sweating, or are read in the face, avoid them at all costs. (And be sure to use your face mask.)
3. SIT DOWN
Buses and trains can be crowded, but if you can at all find a seat so you avoid holding hand rails and straps, you reduce your chances of picking up someone else’s germs. If you can’t sit down, try to limit your contact with the hand rails and straps. At the very least, use disinfectant wipes to wipe them down before you touch it.
4. USE DISINFECTANT WIPES
At many stores, there are portable packs of disinfectant wipes available. These are essential to have as you can use them to wipe surfaces that you may touch, like handrails, surfaces areas on the bus, or even your own car. Packs of wipes are lightweight and effective for cleanliness.
Be sure to wipe down your phone frequently, and avoid using it on the train or subway as well. You may have touched something inadvertently and not even know it, and then you’re contaminating your phone.
On planes, you should wipe down the armrests, tray tables, and touch screens. Also, never stick anything you own into those seatback pockets, and if you do, wipe that down as well. Sanitize your hands after you handle anything that was in the seatback pocket.
5. STAY HYDRATED
We’re more prone to getting sick if we’re not properly hydrated, so be sure to drink water. If you’re on a plane, you’re more likely to lose body moisture, so be sure to drink plenty of water before you board the plane and then drink more water while you’re flying.
You especially want to avoid tea, coffee, and soda during a flight, because they cause you to lose fluids faster.
It’s also important to eat healthy and exercise, so our bodies are better able to fight off infection.
6. WEAR YOUR MASK
You may not like it, you may not feel comfortable, but there are plenty of people who won’t wear a mask and they could be spraying their germs through the air. Most masks aren’t foolproof, germ-proof masks, but they reduce the chance of catching something that’s airborne.
Also, if you’re on a plane, turn your air vent on and have it blow straight down a few inches in front of your face. This creates an air barrier that can help keep germs from reaching you. This works on the same concept as those stores and restaurants that have fans that blow straight down whenever you open the door — they keep flies and mosquitoes from flying into the store, because they can’t get through the air curtain.
People are going to be extra cautious for quite a while so it’s a good idea to take your own precautions. We’re starting to go back to work, starting to go back outside, and starting to gather in public again. But you can protect yourself at any time of year just by following these simple steps, especially during your daily commute.
How do you avoid getting sick on your daily commutes? What precautions do you take? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
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