I’ve traveled the world for many decades now and am happy to report that I’ve lived through the multiple medical scares that come along ever so frequently. SARS, Bird Flu, HIV/Aids, and so forth. There has been worldwide panic for each of these awful, and potentially deadly viruses. People have been wearing cotton masks with false hopes of being protected.
With the Corona Virus pandemic and having recently been on 8 flights in the past two months, I thought it timely to share some common-sense, personal protection guidelines that I’ve always relied on. Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not offering medical advice!
The first thing I do on entering a plane, stashing my carry on in the overhead bin, and settling into my seat, is to remove my small travel-sized package of antibacterial wipes. Without hindering other passengers, I am able to sit in my seat and begin my removal of germs. It’s pretty straight forward. Anything I’m likely to touch gets wiped. The window shade pull, the ventilation valve, the light switch. My tray table and latch. My seatbelt latches. The airplane wall where I may lean my head. The pocket edge I need to pull out to access something I’ve placed there. AND the touch screen viewer for my media. Although I travel with my own Ipad, if I had to rent one or a headset, they too would receive my germ-removal attention. Just use your head. Anything you touch that’s public has the germs of all the people who’ve recently handled it!
I also bring a spray anti-bacterial travel size bottle that I am able to discreetly spray on my headrest, armrest, and the netting pocket. BUT I only do this if other passengers are not already seated in the area where my spray might inadvertently affect their respiratory system. It’s a toxic substance in itself, so I don’t use it often nor without consideration to fellow travelers.
This wipe down takes less than 5 minutes. Then I can relax and use my personal space without concern for unnecessary germs.
My germaphobic routine goes beyond the airplane though. The first thing I do when I arrive at my destination is to strip off my travel clothes and shower. Then launder my clothing or put them in a plastic bag to be laundered when I return home. I’m talking about everything fabric that has come into contact with large quantities of people and the disturbing poor hygiene I’ve observed throughout my years of travels. A scarf, a jacket, slacks, shirt, etc. all gets washed!
My neck pillow, if I used one, also gets washed.
When you put your purse or travel bag on the floor under the seat in front of you, you do realize you’re putting them where hundreds if not thousands of people have put their feet and shoes, right? And you do know about the gross and nauseating reports of the bacteria and germs on our shoes, right? I always use a light spray of Lysol disinfectant or an antibacterial wipe for the bottom of my purse in everyday use. But especially when I travel, I don’t overlook the germs my bag has picked up. And to see so many people put their purses on kitchen counters and tables! Gross!!
If I have to use an airplane lavatory, not only do I wash my hands before exiting there, but when I return to my seat, I use an antibacterial wipe on my hands because I’ve had to touch the occupied lock, and the door latches after I’ve washed my hands!
I do not wear a mask when I travel, though I have been totally grossed out by people with sniffles and coughs that don’t bother wearing them to contain their bodily fluids. If I were sick, I would wear one. Not to protect me, but out of courtesy to the other people around me. I do keep a small nasal spray of grapefruit seed extract in my travel bag and if I’m feeling vulnerable or even dehydrated from the known dry air conditions on a flight, I will pump a couple of sprays of this into each nostril. Grapefruit seed is a powerful, natural disinfectant.
Fear itself makes our bodies more susceptible to sickness and disease. Do what you need to do to deal with your fears. Educating yourself rather than buying into the media hype scares is a good place to start. Caution is good. Being paranoid is not.
Welcome aboard. Now, sit back and enjoy your flight without a worry.