The popularity of anti-bacterial wipes, soaps, and sprays may make you feel a little better about the amount of bacteria that are floating around you when you're out and about, but studies show that in reality your very own kitchen may qualify as ground zero for the germs you encounter on any given day. From the can opener in your gadget drawer to your refrigerator’s meat and vegetable bins, Salmonella and E. coli may have actually found a home - in yours.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t at least be aware of all the other places germs may lurk, of course. The uncomfortable truth of the matter is that anywhere you will put your hands chances are pretty good that someone else (and more likely several someones) have already put their hands there, as well. Gas pump handles, menus, ketchup and mustard bottles, grocery carts, doorknobs, escalator and stair rails just to name a few – the list is long, indeed. No need to panic, though, as a few simple tips can help keep you and your loved ones from getting sick.
Keeping The Germs At Bay
For instance, if you’ve traveled on an airplane you know how congested it is, and just knowing that a single sneeze can spread bacteria dozens of feet in all directions might be enough to put you off air travel forever. However, if you’re careful about washing your hands or are up for wearing a surgical mask (especially if you’re the one that’s doing the sneezing – hint, hint) then you can definitely minimize your chances of arriving at your destination with some new and very unwelcome traveling companions.
A cell phone, yours or anyone else’s, is a real hotspot for germs, too. And remember that you’re picking it up and holding it next to your face, so where you put it down for a few moments can be an issue, as well. Your dinner table or the chair next to you in the restaurant may not have been cleaned well or even wiped down, recently.
In general, if your immune system is pretty normal your body can resist many of these common germs and fight them off in the long run. But for children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems due to other health conditions (or even just being stressed out and overtired), a chance encounter with bacteria could put them out of commission for a week or more. So wash those hands of yours and remember to cover your mouth when you sneeze, please!