There’s just something about cold, dry air that makes all kinds of bacteria and viruses epidemics. During last year’s holiday season, Facebook statuses were abuzz with “Fever and flu please be gone!” or “Am sick with fever. Please pray for me!” Earlier this year, local news reported that measles became an epidemic, with the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) noting in a news article that it will only get worse as the months roll on by.
With these facts in mind, we’ve got to do our part in illness prevention. One of the most common ways to catch a cough or cold is to stand next to someone who has coughed or sneezed, or stay in an area where the germs have lingered in the air. In order to spread love to our fellow human beings, and not viruses, here are important coughing ethics to remember by:
1) Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue
This is the most emphasized precaution you probably heard from your mom a million times, but it’s #1 for a reason. According to experts from the online edition of Partners In Health, if left uncovered, a cough sends drops of moisture containing germs airborne. These very tiny germs can cling to objects and surfaces, unseen to the human eye. When humans come into contact with these germs by touching these areas, it increases their chances of getting sick. So cover up that cough with a piece of tissue paper, then immediately throw it in the trashcan.
A personal handkerchief is discouraged because you keep it on your person at all times, thereby only spreading the disease faster to yourself. If you’re at a dinner table where there’s a table napkin, sneeze into that. Then, ask for a new napkin after. Do not keep it on your person. An excerpt from the 17th edition of the Emily Post book (a woman full of good manners she had to write an entire book about them) says:
“If you are at the dinner table, she elaborates a bit more: “When you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue – or your napkin, if that’s the only thing within reach. (In an emergency, your hand is better than nothing at all. If a coughing or sneezing bout is prolonged, excuse yourself until it passes.”
Some alcohol would actually come in handy if you suddenly cough onto your hand – just always disinfect after coughing.
2) Wash your hands with soap and water after coughing
Having clean hands can stop the spread of germs around you, since you interact with most people and objects with your hands (turning a doorknob, flushing the toilet, shaking a person’s hand). Conversely, you can pick up germs unknowingly while coming into contact with these objects or surfaces, so it’s best to wash your hands. According to an online article by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Protection), this is the most effective way of eliminating germs from your hand.
3) Take your cough medicine
Once you know you’ve got a cough, immediately consult your doctor. If it’s a simple cough, then you’ll be prescribed medicine for
cough – which you should take according to the doctor’s prescription (follow the prescription to the dot if you want to get better sooner). Those’ll be sure to knock out that annoying cough and spread the love to everyone around you – the love of good health, that is!
Please share the love by dropping us a few more tips on the comment section below. Thanks!