Pragmatic Germophobia

Wed 29 September 2010

I get sick when I travel. There was the bronchial infection in the Cotswolds, when I learned dentists carry good travel meds and I'm allergic to penecillin. The stomach virus in Seattle passed quickly, so to speak. And I had a wonderful excuse to practice Japanese in Tokyo.

Me: EXCUSE ME!
Pharmacist: Hai?
Me: I HAVE A COLD!
Pharmacist: Hai.
Me: DOES THERE EXIST COLD MEDICINE HERE? IT IS THE NOSE.
Pharmacist: Hai. (Translation: "Duh.")

Daniel Pink posted a tip to never get sick on the road again. He suggests smearing some bacitracin inside your nostrils before boarding the flight, and cleaning the seat tray with a sanitizing wipe. I tried it on our trip to Orlando. My nose felt slimy and odd, but it was painless.

I became more of a believer on the plane. I felt embarrassed about wiping down the tray, and put it off until drinks arrived. Hypochondriac in seat 14F! Four dried coffee rings greeted me when I flipped it open. As Pink said, they don't clean the plane between passengers. I still felt like a germophobe as I cleaned it, but I no longer minded.

It's going to take 27 hours to get from Boston to Siem Reap, and I'll pass hundreds of fellow germ-carriers. The chance of staying healthy is worth a slimy nose.

Category: Health

Tags: health /