Cold germs are everywhere. You can be infected by a sick person coughing or sneezing from 3-feet away, or by touching whatever they’ve touched. So, here’s a list of the three people you’re most likely to catch a cold from – and how to protect yourself:
- The grocery cashier. If they’re sick, they’ve got virus on their hands, and can pass it on by touching anything you’re going to handle, from your credit card, to the receipt they hand you, to the box of cereal you’re buying. And the moment you touch your nose or eyes, you’re infected. That’s because cold and flu germs are mostly spread through hand-to-mouth contact. You can lower your risk by self-swiping your credit card. Don’t forget to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after you’ve touched that checkout keypad and after you’ve finished using the grocery cart.
- A boss, or coworker. People with the cold or flu release tiny, germy droplets as they speak, which can remain suspended in the air for hours. Stand as far away from sick people as possible and don’t get into a confined space with them, like an elevator, because the lack of air circulation makes germs linger. Plus, those elevator buttons are a germ magnet. You may want to take the stairs.
- Your partner. Sharing your living space with a sickie drastically raises your chances of getting sick. Wash your hands frequently. And clean commonly touched surfaces, like faucet handles, light switches and the remote control. And until your partner’s better, you might want to sleep on the couch, so you don’t breathe in their germy breath all night.