When Is Being Germophobic Healthy?
Some might call it paranoia but I think a healthy dose of germophobia when traveling on an airplane makes good sense. I have gotten sick after flying one too many times to ignore all those little creatures wanting to invade my body. No more will I be a passive by stander! I am going to vanquish the little monsters before they set up shop in my nose.
Being blind makes it even more likely that we will touch more surfaces and get our hands in some pretty germy places. I did some research on the best ways to protect ourselves. Here are some things you can do to be a little more germ-free next time you fly.
1. Get antibacterial wipes, as big as you can find, and use a ton of them. Start by wiping your seatbelt buckle. Try to forget how many unwashed hands have touched it before you. Then wipe your armrests and particularly the seatback button. Then wipe the window shade if you plan to touch it. If people around you think you are too weird, just let it go and remember you are taking these precautions for you! Truly, who has the most sense? It isn’t them I promise. If you have not gotten a fresh wipe by now, then do it because the dirtiest place on the plane is your food tray. Wipe the fastener first and then the tray itself. Try not to imagine all the diapers that have been changed on that tray. Yes, I am trying to gross you out but it is for the good of all. Grin.
2. Planes get cleaned once a day -- usually in the morning. Early flights are less germy. I would wipe everything down anyway. The pillows and blankets are only switched out once a day also. Bring your own or use your clothing instead. The pillows are the most contaminated, so if you need to use one, cover it with something.
3. Keep your nose hydrated with saline nose spray. This makes it more difficult for the demons to infiltrate your membranes. somebody told me to put Vaseline in my nose. That makes sense, but I think I will skip that one. Maybe I will try a different oil.
4. Now back to wiping; Take your wipes to the bathroom with you. Absolutely do not go there in just your socks or bare feet. Have the wipe in your hand and wipe the doorknob. If you get teased, tell them you are protecting them because you have open sores on your hands or something repulsive like that. The locking mechanism inside is super yucky so wipe it down. I often have trouble finding the flush button so I end up feeling all over the place for it. If you remember, ask the flight attendant to tell you where it is before you go in. I like to use a fresh wipe at this point and wipe my hands. By this time I have wiped my hands into a state of dryness. If this bothers you, take some moisturizer with you.
5. Drink lots of water. Germs love to enter your body through your nose, eyes, and mouth. Keeping yourself hydrated will make it tougher for them to stick around and multiply.
6. Be a good neighbor and offer your wipes to everyone around you. It is a very kind thing to do. I think they should hand out complimentary wipes when you get on the plane.
If you are sick yourself, be considerate by coughing into your elbow not your hand. The same goes for sneezing. Offer your wipes and carry a plastic bag to collect them. I might be nerdy but I like to stay healthy. How about you?
Good health to you,