Everyday Surfaces that will give you a Cold

Supermarkets offer cleaning tissues for shopping carts, but forget the germs on the key pad at the check out counter.

The filthiest germ attack of them all.

Just coming out of a nasty 10 day cold that probably could have been prevented with extreme precautions, I just read this story about how absolutely impossible it is to avoid a common cold in today’s society. Trying to limit touching surfaces that have been infected is obviously the key to avoid a cold, but how diligently can you be without turning rude or obnoxious after a while?

Watching commercials in which young parents feverishly chlorox the surfaces frequented by their offspring gets old quickly. Sleeping in the guest bedroom or not hugging your significant sick one gets old too. Yet, I tried it this time when a cold entered the house. Well it didn’t work. I just entered the sick bay a couple of days later. Unless you move out of the house at the first sign of a potential germ infection, it will get you. Guaranteed.

Some “experts” say that drinking excessive amounts of water will prevent catching a cold. With 10 half liter bottles a day (1-1/3 gallon) I almost drowned my brain, but it didn’t stop the cold. Frankly after years of battling one or two colds a year, I have now come to accept that a cold is just part of my annual immune rebuild system. Yet every time I spent anther coughing, sniffling, sore throat, dry mouth, sinus headache, stuffy nose, teary eyed, cold chill feverish night, I am obsessed to find a way to prevent the common cold.

Over the years I already have given special consideration to counter tops, refrigerator handles, door handles, faucet handles, toilet handles, microwave handles, silverware, glass ware, computer keyboards, telephone units, remote controls, and just thinking about it, there is no way to avoid transfer of germs, not even if you would spend the day disinfecting the ground you’re walking on.

Easiest places to catch the cold germ

If there is any future in trying to avoid catching a cold, it has to come from personal protection methods. Latex gloves or throw away woolen gloves like my friend Joe Bonamassa wears when he does a meet and greet with his fans after a show, could be a temporary solution and potentially items that I may add to my efforts especially after learning (duh???) that grabbing the handle of a gas pump is the number one transmitter of germs in the country, closely followed by public mailboxes, escalator rails and ATM buttons. Back to gas station attendants?
But then what about escalator rails and especially ATM buttons or payment key-pads or other filth-laden spots such as parking meters and kiosks, crosswalk buttons and buttons on vending machines in shopping malls.

It’s a well-known fact that nobody ever cleans the things that we’re going to touch on a daily basis. Grocery stores and Supermarkets already know this for a long time and have boxes of cleaning tissues available to wipe off the cart handles. But that’s only part of the problem when you realize that once you get to the check out and swipe your card, your fingers are touching a key pad that hasn’t been cleaned in years! I once made a remark to an immigration officer at the airport who had a sign next to his window that informed us of the penalty for coughing in his face. When I asked him how many times a day  the finger print machine was disinfected to avoid passing germs on to incoming travelers, he was ready to send me back to the country I came from.
Germs from people’s hands can transfer seven times before leaving the skin and washing your hands constantly is a pain in the neck, besides almost impossibly inconvenient and guaranteed to miss that one occasion that will infect you.

Until someone comes up with a skin friendly disinfectant spray that will kill germs on contact and we only need to re-apply once or twice a day, we are exposed to the common cold in a somewhat random manner and until then, it’s good to have a load of Vitamin C, homemade chicken soup, throat lozengers, water and the family’s favorite pharmacy collection at your finger tips.

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