It’s cold and flu season, as we’re all aware; with the novel virus running around, it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant about hygiene at the office. While you and your co-workers might be young, fit, and healthy, you don’t know what kind of situation their friends and family might be in this year. Immunosuppressed individuals and the elderly generally have a harder time fighting off pneumonia-like symptoms, so it’s very important that these people stay healthy. You can do your part to protect them by not spreading germs.
Wash Your Hands
We know you’ve heard this a million and one times, but it’s a dead horse that must be beaten. Since the common cold, flu, and other viruses are spread through droplets and surface contact, anything picked up on the hands can be spread to twice as many surfaces within minutes. Whether you’re in the restroom, breakroom, or simply at your desk, take every opportunity to wash your hands with soap and hot water to stop or slow the spread of surface germs.
Cover Your Mouth
Even if you don’t feel sick, you should still cover your coughs and sneezes. Aside from being standard etiquette, this is an immensely effective way to prevent the spread of germs you don’t even know you have. Since viral illnesses can be active and spreadable before the onset of symptoms, it’s best to exercise 100% caution at all times.
If ever there was a time to play the “sick card,” it’s now. As mentioned, it’s not just your health at stake if you enter your office feeling ill. With the common cold, most people recover fine, but some workers might have a lower tolerance for illness than others. Generally, employers are understanding about illness and wish to prevent the intentional spreading of viruses through the office. The issue, really, is when employees misuse the company’s sick policy.
Cold and flu season is upon us, and being amplified by nature’s latest novel virus. During times of sickness, it’s easy to get anxious and concerned; take matters into your own hands – literally. Keep your body clean, your insides nourished with healthy, vitamin-rich food, and avoid heavily populated areas. Be smart, don’t misuse company leniency, stay safe, and keep others safe in the process.