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What to avoid if you don’t want to get sick (again) this spring

If you’ve ever gotten really sick — and had to work from home for multiple days in a row because of it — the last thing you want is to feel that way again. That’s why it’s hard to deal when people start coughing in your face and breathing down your neck on your way back to work using public transportation. But what can you do? It happens.

While we can’t promise that you won’t get sick again at some point in the near future, here’s what to avoid on your commute when you finally claw your way back to the office.

On planes: step away from the aisle seat

Sitting in the aisle is definitely not a good idea if you don’t want to get sick. So choose the window seat when you book your flight — that is if someone else hasn’t stolen it from you already.

Remember, the earlier you book your flight, the sooner you can lock down a seat you actually want — one that could possibly keep you safe.

On trains: avoid grabbing the poles — if you can

Holding onto the poles on the train because no seats are available is enough to make some people drown their fingers in hand sanitizer at the next stop.

While others don’t care nearly as much, they might actually be on to something — but don’t worry, you’re not missing out on anything if you fall into the other category.

Geneticist Christopher Mason, also an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine who did a “DNA sampling of the New York City subway,” told WNYC about how things might not be so bad after all.

“The things you’re most worried about … viruses that actually might get you sick, a lot of them don’t last long at all on most surfaces. So the perception you can’t touch any surface on the subway on the way home is actually a little paranoid because most surfaces most of the time are really benign.”

However, WNYC reports that Mason differentiates between your skin just touching surfaces and having substances go into your body, and recommends washing your hands when you arrive because of how many people have come in contact with the pole.

Which leads me to my next point …

Don’t skip the sink — just wash your hands

You knew it was coming. Think hand-washing is no big deal? Think again.

“There’s a simple step you can take to keep yourself from getting sick: Wash your hands frequently. The list of infections that can spread via unwashed hands reads like the Biblical plagues, including staph, strep, salmonella, E. coli, hepatitis, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), colds, flu and norovirus – the infamous cruise-ship bug,” a guide in The Wall Street Journal says.

There are so many reasons why hand-washing should be named the golden rule of hygiene.

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