Well, we are into cold and flu season and being around people who are acutely ill increases ones chances of catching their bug. So, practicing some “illness etiquette” could be helpful for everyone.
First, if you are sick, stay home from work or school until you know you aren’t infectious anymore. And do limit your exposure to others, especially babies and anyone who may be immune compromised due to an illness or medical treatment, like chemo therapy.
If you have a sick family member and are planning on guests coming over, the gracious thing to do would be to inform your guests and give them the option of not coming. If necessary, reschedule the event. To not inform them until they arrive can make it seem like they were bushwhacked.
Avoid shaking hands with people if you are acutely ill. Just let them know you aren’t shaking their hand because you don’t want to expose them to your germs. They will be grateful.
Do cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands. This helps reduce the germs being spread to everything you touch.
Wash your hands frequently and well, especially before touching food or anything else that may go into your mouth. Simple hand washing can do a lot in preventing the spread of germs. A good habit to get into is to wash your hands immediately upon coming home from work, school or any other place in public.
Have hand sanitizer on hand when you can’t get to a sink to wash. Keep some packets in your desk at work, in your car, purse or any other handy place. And sanitize commonly touched surfaces at work and at home. Don’t forget your computer keys and cell phone.
Dispose of your soiled tissues yourself. Don’t leave them on a table in a restaurant or any other place where someone else is responsible for disposing of them.