Manners Matter…Even When You’re Sick

At work, at school and even at the grocery store, it is always important to remember your manners. But does a different etiquette apply when you’re sick?

There are certainly unspoken rules to be followed on a daily basis and even more apply when you need to prevent the spread of germs. From coughs and sneezes to dirty tissues, here are some rules of thumb to keep you, and those around you, as sanitary and germ free as possible:

  • Do: step away from a crowd and cover your cough or sneeze with your arm. Practice the “Dracula” technique by pretending you’re holding a cape to reduce the spread of a sneeze or cough.
  • Don’t: cover your cough or sneeze with your hand. This inevitably spreads germs more when you use your hands to accomplish other tasks.
  • Do: use tissues and antibacterial sprays or wipes often. This is especially important if you need to shake hands or hug someone.
  • Don’t: let the infested items pile up on your work space or around the house. Pitch items into the trash as soon as they are used.
  • Do: wash your hands twice as much as usual. This stops germs in their tracks and therefore prevents the spread of germs even better. For kids, have them sing the ABCs to assure they’ve washed thoroughly and long enough.
  • Don’t: overdo it with scents, vapo-rubs or other odorous remedies. They may alleviate the discomfort, but if you are feeling like you can’t do without it, it’s probably best to not be that social in the first place.
  • Do: get a flu shot. This beneficial vaccine helps counteract problems before they are apparent.
  • Don’t: go out if you think it has the definite potential to get someone else sick at work or otherwise. You’re probably right and wouldn’t be so happy if the tables were turned.

How else do you like to be polite if you’re sick?

Check out these posts for more information on staying healthy in the winter months:

Photo credit: Steve Morris

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