Its flu season in Fort Worth and you can't go anywhere around this town without someone offering to poke you with a flu shot.
In my younger years, I would avoid getting a flu shot like the plague. I was firmly entrenched in the camp of folks that feel that getting a flu shot made no sense - why would I want to be injected with a virus I was trying to avoid? After all, getting sick is part of "natural selection"! Why would I want to go against nature? I'd be WAY out-gunned!
At the end of the day, your body does a pretty good job at fighting off the nasties that we call germs and bacteria. But, it could use an assist every now and then. Below are a few helpful practices that you might try to help you keep from picking up the dreaded germ arround your office.
1. Clean Your Keyboard and Mouse with an Approved Electronics Cleaning Cloth or Solution
It is a fairly easy process to accomplish, and worth the effort for sure. Think about it – you dug into the candy dish after multiple people at the office, you and Sally swapped TPS reports, you shook hands with a visitor and you used the doorknob to vacate the restroom. Then, you came back to your keyboard and started typing. You see where I am going with this. Speak with the office manager to see if you have any approved cleaning solutions on hand, then reach out to your IT solutions provider before moving forward with the scrub down.
2. Don't Eat around your Computer
Those crumbs that fall between the keys might as well as be a smorgasbord for infection. If all of those germs described above have collected on your keys as you type away and take a bite of your McMuffin – well that is pretty gross. You are eating those germs, and then incubating them in your body. Long story short, you may not want to eat at your desk.
3. Wash Your Hands, Please
I know, we are not six years old anymore. Still, too often people neglect to wash their hands or do so properly, hence why I'm reiterating this. Just do it. A good rule of thumb is to massage the soap into your palms, between the fingers – basically every crack and crevice – while singing happy birthday (in your head). All in all, it is just the respectful thing to do for those around you as well, since it will help prevent the spreading of germs.
4. Sneeze Away from Your Computer
Take a walk over to an employee that you do not like, and sneeze on their computer instead. JUST KIDDING. However, I have witnessed co-workers sneezing in their cubicles, and not covering up their mouths. As a result, their workspace becomes a breeding ground for whatever ailment they are carrying. When you sneeze, cover your mouth like Count Dracula. Sneezing into your elbow is a good practice when there aren't any tissues readily available. Keep a roll of cleaning wipes in your desk drawer, and give your work area a good wipe down once a week – or more if needed.
I've evolved a bit in recent years. I've got kids now and I've had them bring sniffles home from school, wipe their runny noses across my shirt in the afternoon only to find myself on the floor of the bathroom the next morning after a night of sweating and shivering and other bad things that make my stomach hurt to think about.
I think I've reversed my position on flu shots in recent months. I'm proud of myself for that. Perhaps the flu actually has helped me to evolve after all. I hope these tips will help you to keep from enjoying the Fort Worth flu but if you do get it, maybe it’ll help you evolve too, and you’ll be better for it.