Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Surviving Germ-ageddon

After spending the last couple of years on immune suppressive therapy, I’ve picked up some tricks to avoiding infection. These tricks have come from both my own experiences and the experiences of my friends from my fabulous support group, The Chronic Bitches, who take similar medications. Being germ-a-phobes is not a choice for us, it’s a necessary survival tactic. I consider it training to survive the zombie-pocalypse, so I can avoid being contaminated by infected brains. Since fewer zombies on d-day means less beings trying to eat mah brainz, here’s some of the tricks of the trade.

1)      Wash your hands- often. It seems obvious, but surprisingly enough, I notice probably 30% of adults leave the bathroom without washing up. Make sure you wash them correctly- I like to look like a crazy lunatic and sing a verse of “Old McDonald” to myself while I wash. It’s exactly the right length in time. So are most verses of most children’s songs, to be honest. Bonus points are given for really weird songs.
2)      Wash your hands even more often. Yep, this one really gets 2 slots. The things we don’t think about can get you. Hands must be washed not just after going to the bathroom and before eating, but also before touching your face or any other mucus membranes. So- no rubbing your eyes, rubbing your nose, etc, before washing up.
3)      Don’t hesitate to teach those around how to cough and sneeze properly. Hesitation can mean a hospitalization- totally not worth it in the end. Everyone should cough or sneeze into a tissue then wash their hands thoroughly, or cough/sneeze into the crook of their elbow. This best controls the germ spread.
4)      Never share food or drink. It’s fine if someone eats/drinks after you, but never eat/drink after anyone.
5)      Only kiss people you really trust to know if they’re sick or have exposed to germs. Yes, I know not frenching random strangers takes a lot of the fun out of life, but you’ll deal. Besides, you never know when one of those people will turn out to be a zombie.
6)      Save certain fingers for certain tasks. Weird sounding, I know, but it really does help. For instance- my pinky and ringer fingers are for touching public surfaces. If I need to open a door with a handle, I pull the door open using just those 2 fingers if at all possible. I press buttons, like handicap door open buttons and elevator buttons, using the back of my hand. This leaves my middle and index fingers and thumb far cleaner, so that if I do mess up and rub my eyes (a bad habit I have yet to break), I’m far less likely to make myself sick.
7)      Never eat food from a buffet. If you must, like at a family dinner, make sure you are the very first one served. Just pretend you’re royalty if it makes you feel better. Bonus points if you wear a tiara.
8)      Never eat food prepared by someone who’s sick. Doesn’t matter if they say it’s “just allergies”. The junk they’re sneezing out is still contaminated with germs
I’m sure there’s a lot more tips out there, but those are the ones that popped up into the front of my mind. Enjoy!

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