15 Ways You Might Be Damaging Your Immune System

2. Using public facilities

It’s all very well to keep yourself and your home clean and free of illness-causing germs, but you can’t stay at home all day. What about when you go out? Coming into contact with public objects and facilities is unavoidable. The trouble is, when you go out you face a barrage of harmful germs all over the place. What can you do about it when you have to go to the store or visit your doctor’s rooms?

Some of the most germ-ridden items that you might encounter in public are things like the menu at a restaurant. How many hands have touched it? How many germs have contaminated it? What about that ketchup or mustard bottles? And what about the handles of grocery carts, and pens at banks and post offices? Public restrooms are full of harmful germs, as are door handles and toilet flush handles. All these things can act as carriers of viruses and bacteria from one person to another.

The answer to the problem lies in a few protective measures that you can take. When you go out, make sure you have your own paper, water bottle, tissues and wipes with you. Avoid touching public objects, and if you have to, avoid touching your face, mouth or nose afterward. Sanitise your hands with a disinfectant gel or wipe frequently. Use these wipes to clean shopping cart handles, communal pens and any other things you need to touch in public.

A healthy tip is to buy a whole lot of ballpoint pens and keep them in every bag you own. When you sign a credit card slip at the store, imagine how many hands have touched that pen before you. And imagine the number of cold and flu germs, not to mention more serious pathogens, are on that pen. No, don’t leave the house without your own pen. Use it to sign for the delivery guy, or your waiter or at the doctor’s rooms. Just don’t touch public pens … ever!