Although I take standard precautions during this time of year to help stop the spread of the cold and flu germs going around, it is of the utmost urgency to do so right now here in California! With record levels of influenza cases right now in the state causing hospitals to set up parking lot triage tents in some places, the situation continues to worsen and even claim lives as it progresses. As drivers we are in and out of crowded warehouses, shipping and receiving offices, and communal restrooms that are often germ infested. Besides washing hands often and carrying natural sanitizer, making sure I “B.Y.O.P.” is another important step in making sure I stay healthy and flu-free!
You may notice when checking in at a shipper or receiver that there is often somewhere you need to sign in on a clipboard with your name, truck and trailer number, and carrier information. This area to check in usually features a writing pen for drivers to use that is typically identifiable by being attached to a chain affixed to the counter, a car rim, or possibly a Buick in some questionable locations, all in an effort to deter theft of this all-important fifty cent writing device! This pen that disguises itself as a helpful tool for those that didn’t B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Pen), has a far more sinister purpose as a top carrier of germs at the check-in counters of warehouses across the America. I urge you to think twice when reaching for this “handy helper”, as to how well used it actually may be, often by people not as animate about washing their hands or general cleanliness as you may be. Think thoughts to keep yourself safe in this instance like, “Who might been sick and coughed into their hands right before grabbing it before you?” or “Who might have sneezed and then grabbed for it before you?”
It is proven that viruses are getting stronger and more resistant to medicine as time goes on year after year, cold and flu season after cold and flu season. Still the best precaution I take every year against getting sick is proper sanitation and cleanliness. Other than that, I consider following a strict rule to always “B.Y.O.P.” myself a very strong deterrent in getting a case of the crud during cold and flu season as well. Although airborne sickness is an entirely different matter, most germs are actually passed by touching germ-carrying surfaces that have not been cleaned and disinfected. There is often no item in a shipper or receiver lobby quite as communal as a writing pen, so eliminate the chance you have of getting down-and-out by remembering to B.Y.O.P. yourself!