Public transportation puts you in close contact with a large number of people and, unfortunately, their germs. Even worse, some bacteria and viruses can remain on surfaces for days, increasing the likelihood of you bringing an illness home to your family.
But whether you’re taking the subway, plane, or bus, you can follow a few simple measures to stay healthy:
Keep your distance
Don’t sit or stand closer to other passengers than necessary. If someone is coughing or sneezing, move away from them if it’s not too crowded. This is especially prudent around a young child who may be less diligent about covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze.
If you are close to someone coughing and sneezing but the subway is packed and you can’t move away, turn your head away from the person or look down. Use a tissue or scarf to cover your nose and mouth, and be careful not to drop it on the kitchen counter or table when you get home.
Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes
People unconsciously touch their mouth, nose, or eyes many times an hour. Each time you touch a seat or hold onto a railing on the train, you’re exposing yourself to germs that are then transported directly to your face when you rub your eyes or wipe your nose. Be aware of this habit and start trying to break it now.
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can after reaching your destination. If you don’t have access to soap and water, carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you. As with hand washing, don’t be in a hurry. Rub it thoroughly into your hands until they feel dry.
Carry extra protection
As an additional safeguard, be prepared to wipe down surfaces before touching them. Carry disposal wet wipes or cloths when you use public transit.