Daily Archives: March 16, 2012

Too Cool for Contagion

Have you noticed that fewer of your friends and co-workers have been hacking, sneezing, dripping and whining this winter? A couple of weeks ago I read a news story explaining why there’s less flu going around. Sure, part of it is thanks to the milder winter and the vaccinations that more of us are getting, yada, yada, yada. But one flu expert says it’s also because people are more conscientious than ever. We’re taking care not to transmit illness to the people around us, he says.

How are we doing that? We’re coughing and sneezing into our arms, instead of spraying our loved ones with germy droplets. We’re washing our hands when we’re supposed to, not spreading viruses willy-nilly on keyboards and doorknobs. We’re giving work and school a miss when we feel miserable. And this one I love: Apparently we’re replacing risky handshakes with much more awesome “fist bumps.”

This is bad news for the Kleenex makers, but good news for those of us who don’t enjoy plagues. Our consideration towards others is helping to stem the spread of nasty sickness.

That’s even more awesome than a fist bump.

P.S. Check out my past blog posts on the links between kindness and contagion, here and here. I’m not obsessed, just hygienic.

Close-up of handwashing at a sink.

Tip: Wash your hands for as long as it takes you to hum “Happy Birthday.” Not only will you destroy the germs, but you’ll also feel sort of special.