Editor’s note: Mickie was under the weather and then getting through the holidays. For those looking for a healthier outlook on life than mine, she should be back to posting regularly.
I’m back after a crazy winter illness, which made me think of this post. It’s winter and the heat is on and the fire is roaring which also means the humidity is very low. We fight daily to maintain a healthy level of moisture in the air with our in-home humidifiers. Did you know that flu and cold viruses thrive in dry environments? By maintaining our humidity between 45-50% we’re combating getting sick at a higher rate than sanitizing our entire house.
What does this have to do with travel?
Did you know that airplanes typically run at less than 20% humidity? Germs thrive more on the surfaces due to low humidity. Look out for the tray table (hello, sneezes). Chances are decent it wasn’t wiped down since the last passenger used it. And don’t forget about that pouch in the seat-back pocket (a placeholder for icky blown into tissues or napkins). Or what about the isle seat, have you ever noticed that as people walk down the aisle that use the outer seat as a handrail? According to this article, it’s likely not the recycled air making you sick.
It’s really the passengers you sit with or the ones that were on the plane before you.
Ways to combat this:
- Wipe down the area around you with sanitizer wipes.
- Keep your hands clean.
- Stay hydrated – there’s that water thing again, but staying hydtrated will help keep the mucus moist and tiny nose hairs (cilia) protecting us from germs entering our body. It’s also good for you!
- Take your vitamins, especially vitamin C.
- It’s possible to wear a mask and still be stylish!
Next time you’re on a plane, take your health into your own hands!