Everytime I have to catch a flight I get a bit anxious. I am not scared of flying, but I am afraid of becoming ill because of the journey. Recently I flew to beautiful Cuba. I was very happy with my seat at the back of the aircraft. I put my luggage in the tiny rack above my head and turned off the airco system. I am pretty sure that these air blowing nozzles are not healthy and blast all kinds of bacteria on the passengers and most worryingly, on me!
Once in the air I made myself comfortable, and after having leafed through a glossy magazine with more dream holiday destinations (sigh), I took a nap. I had been looking forward to my holiday break as work had been very hectic. And then I woke up with a sore throat. I knew straight away that this was the onset of a cold.
I had been overly cautious and had turned off the airconditing above my seat. However, this system is not the culpit. It seems that this advanced system can actually protect from harmful viruses. The contamination comes from fellow passengers in the surrounding rows. If a passenger coughs and does not cover his mouth, there is a serious risk of becoming infected. Hence my cold.
So, what would be the best way to combat germs on board of an airplane?
Do not touch! Avoid all buttons, flush or otherwise, and door handles as well, as these are a source of contamination. I always use a tissue as a barrier between me and these nasty scoundrels. To avoid germs from other neighbouring passengers visiting, a facemask or scarf is recommended. Ofcourse it is only common courtesy to also use a scarf when I have the sniffles.
On my way back from Cuba, I brought a bandana (for the coughs) that armed me against germs and a soft blue travel wrap against the chill. I am rested now, have lovely memories of Cuba and do not plan to catch a cold again any time soon.