As temperatures dip everywhere from the onset of the winter chill and we begin our shift into the cold months, make note that it is also primetime for the cold and flu, or as I call it…”The Crud”! Nowhere is this more prevalent to me than when I am inside a warehouse checking in and see people with red eyes, runny noses, and tissue boxes at the ready. Not to mention that since my daughter started school this year, she is virtually a walking “petri dish” for every sniffle and sneeze brought in by her fellow peers! Keeping the crud germs away and your health in top shape can be as simple as adding a few preventative steps into your routine.
We have gloves to protect our hands when working around the truck and trailer, so why not take a few extra minutes during the day to protect them when we are in the germ infested shipping and receiving areas? You know the ones I am talking about, like the waiting areas where you’re even afraid to rest against the walls! Even the cleanest waiting areas are still prone to germs on things such as doorknobs, communal writing pens and even on snack vending machines. There are even many airborne germs and viruses waiting to invade just by breathing in the same air as others!
There are three simple steps I take to help minimize the risk of getting the cold or flu from having to frequent these types of germ infested areas. These effective methods of prevention are to wash your hands often, sanitize whenever possible, and help filter the air you suspect is going to get you sick breathing. I make it a point to wash my hands whenever a customer has facilities available to do so. I figure that the more I wash, the fewer germs I can have on my hands. Being slightly allergic to some chemical soap brands, I actually have my own all-natural anti-bacterial soap that I carry with me. Throughout the day, especially when wash facilities are not available, I use an all-natural foaming hand sanitizer to further battle the germs I pick up. If you suspect someone of being sick, (e.g. coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, etc.) be sure to carry a simple hospital germ mask to wear when you are in close proximity to them. It may look weird, but better to look weird for a brief moment than lose a day of work from getting “The Crud”.
If you are unfortunate enough to come down with a cold or the flu, be cautious about rules for using and carrying medication in a commercial motor vehicle and while in operation of one! Most companies even have policies of approval for over-the-counter medications of any kind and/or prescription medications. Some may cause side effects that may not be safe while being behind the wheel of a vehicle, so choose and monitor what you take carefully. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist or physician what side effects you will encounter ahead of time. Your body is more easily fatigued when you are sick and can also get dehydrated very fast, so drink plenty of clear fluids. This will also help ensure your body can help kick the sickness faster and flush out whatever is making you feel ill.