Pushing your way through crowds, catching your flights, driving in heavy traffic â€“ all these are part of Thanksgiving travel. Thereâ€™s another aspect of traveling during this holiday that everyone must pay attention to, though, and thatâ€™s staying healthy. It is flu season, and the H1N1 virus (a.k.a. swine flu) remains a real threat.
In an effort to halt the spread of this virus, the American Red Cross has released some tips on how to stay safe against the swine flu. Common sense dictates that if you are feeling under the weather, your best defense is to stay at home and cancel travel plans. That may not be an option for you, but it is the most effective way of avoiding the illness.
If you absolutely have to travel, here is what the Red Cross has to say:
Frequent hand washing continues to be critical to help stave off illness. It is also a good idea to use sanitizing wipes to disinfect surfaces like airplane tray tables, luggage, seat armrests and door handlesâ€¦
Forget the bottles of isopropyl alcohol as you will probably have to give it up at check in â€“ airport security might not allow you to take them on board.
Avoid the usual kisses, hugs and handshaking greetings. If someone in the host household becomes ill, keep them clear of others, or move the celebration. Wash hands before, during and after food preparation. Have plenty of hand soap or sanitizer for guests and use disposable hand or paper towels instead of fancy towels. Use plastic cups, identify guests drinks and donâ€™t share drink cups. Use serving utensils for every dish, including snacks; allowing people to spoon out portions without placing hands in the food.
Extreme? Maybe. Then again, if itâ€™s going to help you stay healthy and swine flu-free, then itâ€™s all good, isnâ€™t it?