Germ Alert – Mr Speaker! Please put on a Mask

Aw, shucks! There he goes, third man in line to be the leader of the free world, and he’s gonna grab hold of his nose right there in front of a national television audience. Mr. Speaker… please, you don’t know who’s been leaning on that podium before you, or what kind of goobers they might have had on their hands! And what kind of message does that send to the nation? In your very public role you influence millions of kids, party members… even Democrats who are watching you!

Regardless of party affiliation, we all need to be reminded that our hands are major contributors to making us sick if we don’t keep them off our nose, mouth and eyes. According to a recent article published by the Mayo Clinic, “When you touch a doorknob handled by someone ill with the flu or a cold, for example, you can pick up the germs he or she left behind. If you then touch your eyes, mouth or nose before washing your hands, you may become infected.”

So it’s not just the reporter out there in the gallery hacking away that’s your only menace. It’s grabbing the podium, door handle or hand rail that some sickie just slobbered all over, and then mindlessly squeezing your nose or touching your mouth while collecting your thoughts… Cold and flu germs are pretty common this time of year, and when the air gets this dry nasal passages become more vulnerable to germs. There’s no avoiding it, really. But there are precautions that can be taken to greatly reduce the risk of picking up somebody’s germs with a few small steps.

For starters, keeping your hands clean will help. According to the CDC, basic hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of viral and bacterial infections. Then, it’s important to stay mindful of what you touch with your clean hands. You open the door of a public facility, or lean on the speaker’s podium and then unconsciously grab your nose (I won’t point any fingers here) which is getting dried out by the dry winter air, and bingo… the third rock from the White House becomes a flu mule!

There are additional measures you can take to help your respiratory system fight off the transmission of germs. A high quality mask (not the Dollar Store or surgical mask variety) can help keep you hydrated and filter out the evil pathogens. By wearing a mask, you reduce the possibility of breathing in the germs that are floating in the air, but you’re also not mindlessly transferring germs from what you’ve just touched.  A mask also keeps you from grabbing your nose (Mr. Speaker) and keeps you more conscious of where your hands have been, serving as a reminder to wash up before taking it off.

You’re not likely to see the Speaker of the House wearing a flu mask anytime soon, as Americans still have a bit of a ‘thing’ about seeing somebody with a mask on, and might immediately assume the country was under attack. But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear one. The rest of the world seems to have gotten over the stigma, and my guess is that Americans are not far behind with a greater focus on health these days. But frankly, I don’t care what anybody thinks when they look at me, all safe and comfy in a MyAir Comfort Mask (my personal preference). Because that’s as good lookin’ as a face mask is going to get, and staying hydrated and germ free trumps all that vanity stuff anyway.

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