Thursday, March 10, 2011

Germaphobes Anonymous

I confess, I'm a huge germaphobe. Usually I'm pretty good at keeping my insanity under-wraps. I walk through the world and people think I'm a normal person. In reality, I would love to live with a germ zapping force field around me that would kill the germs off anyone that came near me. It is becoming increasingly hard for me to not run in disgust every time a person coughs without covering their mouth.

This is why when I saw the New York Times article How Not to Get Sick From a Flight I immediately dropped everything and read it.

I already have a system that I believe helps keep me safe from germs on flights.
  1. I take Airborne before I go to the airport. 
  2. I try not to touch things in the airport or airplane.
  3. Since it is impossible to not touch anything, I carry hand sanitizer with me.
  4. I try not to touch my face.
  5. I wash my hands as much as I can without having to enter gross public bathrooms. If I do have to go into public bathrooms I have another system to try and leave cleaner than I went in.
  6. Pray that the person sitting next to me isn't sick.
This may seem crazy, but I would like to point out that lots of people take it a step further. The people interviewed for the NY Times articles were buying all sorts of things to keep the germs at bay.
  •  Disposable face masks
  • Antiseptic spritzers
  • Airline seat covers
  • Portable air purifiers (hangs around your neck)
  • Nano UV scanners (uses ultraviolet light to kill germs on surfaces)
While I completely understand what motivates these people, I'm way too cheap for all that. The article also mentioned that some people wipe down the arm rests and trays with disinfectant wipes. That is something I could get down with.

Although most of the article didn't give me tips I could use, it did give me a comforting new fact. Major airlines deep clean their planes once a month and do lighter cleanings more frequently than that. This made me happy because I didn't think they were deep cleaning those suckers at all.

Any other germaphobes out there? We've got to stand together...but not too close.

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