Of lost habits & keeping virus in loop

Here a cough, there a cough. Your throat goes parch, but the nose does not stop – mucus secretion keeps flowing. Have a kerchief? You’re safe, if not, brace up to be embarrassed. No matter if it is blazing hot or Jack Frost or onset of any weather (I slyly ignore the ‘hot-hotter-hottest’ Chennai condition, though), common cold is inevitable.

It may manifest as simple sore throat and complicates into runny/stuffy nostrils and cough. However, it does not stop just there but goes on to affect others if you do not maintain basic hygiene.

But given the environmental conditions in the city, we are certainly bound to encounter loads of dust, pool of stagnant water and intolerable stink in several localities.

Take a ride on a government transport, a whiff of dust can be found everywhere and you would certainly be unsure if you really took bath. Given any day, you can spot extreme unhygienic practices in public spaces. Sample this: you have to travel in government transportation every day.

You spot a commuter trying to pull out gooey-booger, drops it in the vehicle, rubs on the dress, droplets remain in hand/palm, uses the support to get off the seat, goes on to hold a couple more hangers for gaining balance, dashes fellow passengers and de-boards the bus. Another commuter, gets in contact with the same hangers and occupies the seat. Does it just not make you feel unpleasant? It does, right? If you pity the person who took the seat, only the Force knows how bad or worse was your seat.

Somewhere between learning hygiene practices back in school and adjusting to have a safe travel, we lost our values. Yes, to me, these are values and cannot be categorised under anything else. How about you do the same act with a kerchief without causing inconvenience to fellow passengers? Does not sound gross, right? Of course, it would not, for, you try your best in not proliferating virus or bacteria to others. I certainly know that the organisms are microscopic and cannot be so sure that it has not transmitted with naked eyes. But the point here is maintaining hygiene.

We all know that the common cold virus spreads rapidly if a person does not clean the nostrils without covering with a cloth, yet we do not do it and use bare hands (only God knows where all your fingers ran and how clean they are). But do we just stop with it? Nah. Without even steriling or at least washing with hand-wash solution, we continue doing the assigned work and come in contact with other people, thereby transferring the virus.

So, you get the point? I hope you did. Nevertheless, here are some pointers to have in mind.

* Wash hands and legs with sanitising solution whenever you use the loo, when you get home and before and after having meals
* Sun dry your clothes as sunlight effectively kills germs
* Maintaining distance from people and covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
* Taking bath twice a day
* Covering nose and mouth while cleaning your home

Bhavani Prabhakar