You can't escape the media coverage regarding the swine flu. It seems to be the lead item in all the papers, TV, websites etc. The Center for Disease Control and The World Health Organization are calling it a pandemic. For those of you who don't know what a pandemic is, according to the dictionary it is: a disease that is prevalent throughout the entire country, region or world.
There has and continues to be a lot written about this disease, and for business travelers it has caused greater concern. Sifting through the reports, we're recommending the following 5 rules:Maintain a healthy dose of paranoia.
Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based product. Invest in a bottle of Purel and use it frequently throughout the day. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. Start carrying around a handkerchief or Kleenex and use it!Become a clean freak.
Like it or not, germs can live on doorknobs, TV remote controls and other areas. When you're traveling it's difficult to avoid touching these things, especially in a hotel room. We recommend implementing a 'clean sweep' of your hotel room before you settle in. Using an antiseptic wipe, clean off the doorknobs, TV remote control, phone, and any other items where germs may reside and which you may touch. You can do the same thing on an airplane (disinfect the tray table and arm rests). You probably are seeing people on TV wearing face masks; you may want to consider wearing a face mask and plastic gloves, especially on an airplane.Pack common sense.
In the true spirit of marketing, new products are popping up all over to help us deal with swine flu. Don't be lured by false advertising. Unfortunately the only way to be sure you won't get the virus is to stay locked in your home and avoid all contact with another human.Let someone else be a hero.
If you start getting flu-like symptoms--fever, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, chills, body aches, fatigue--call your doctor, but more important STAY HOME! You'll probably have great difficulty following this advice – it's a tough economic climate and we are all feeling the pressures. However, now is not the time to be a hero/warrior and forge ahead regardless of how you're feeling. This pandemic will pass but we all need to do our part.Keep current.
Check out the US State Department
. The CDC
will continue to post updates. Visit their websites to get the latest news. Also many airlines have eased their reticketing and itinerary change policies because travelers are reluctant to fly during this period. Check with your individual airlines to keep current.