You can’t turn on the TV or stand in line at the grocery store these days without hearing something about the flu. With the seasonal flu kicking into high gear soon and H1N1 flu making its way at lightning speed throughout communities around the world, you simply cannot hide from these and other germs that are waiting to make you sick in the coming months. While you may be tempted to shut down your gig as a mystery shopper for a few months while the flu and other illnesses make their way through the community, this may be a step for the overly cautious. Instead, you can keep earning a great income as a mystery shopper while staying safe and healthy by following a few basic tips.
Wash, Wash, Wash! You’ve heard it countless times recently throughout various media channels. The best way to combat the flu and other illnesses is to simply wash your hands. This is entirely accurate. However, to make the most of your hand washing, try to be diligent about the times you wash your hands. For instance, if you are around someone who is coughing, sneezing, or otherwise feels poorly, wash your hands immediately after you part ways with them. Be sure to keep your hands away from your face during these times.
Even when you are not around someone known or believed to be ill, take care to keep your hands away from your face throughout the season as much as possible. Wash your hands before eating every meal to ensure you keep the germs that have gathered on your hands through normal activities away from your face.
It’s also a good idea to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or car. Hand washing is great, but it is not always the most convenient thing to do. You can discreetly dab a little hand sanitizer on your hands as you leave a store, before you eat at a restaurant, or any number of other public places where hand washing may not be convenient.
Cover Your Cough! Everyone from the CDC to mothers of small children are reminding us lately to cover our coughs and sneezes. While at one time it was polite to cover with our hands, the now customary way to cover coughs and sneezes is with the inside of our elbow if a tissue is not available. This helps to keep the germs from flying through the air and also from sticking onto our hands, where we could easily transfer them to a doorknob or other object that is frequently touched by others.
If you are around someone else who is coughing and sneezing, simply turn your head as much as possible to avoid breathing their germs directly into your body.
Stay Home! This time of year is tricky for many people. The fall and winter months in many areas are the height of allergy season. This is also high season for colds and various types of flu. When you come down with a case of the sniffles or a light cough, it could very well be allergies. Or it could be the start of a cold or the flu. While time will tell what is causing your sniffles and cough, in the meantime you can be spreading germs around and infecting others as you conduct your mystery shopping. If you have symptoms at all of being sick, the best thing you can do it stay home and keep your germs to yourself. If you absolutely have to go out in public, practice good health precautions by washing, using hand sanitizer, and covering your coughs and sneezes as much as possible.
Before you know it, cold and flu season will be long behind us. In the meantime, however, you can continue to safely make money as a mystery shopper and stay healthy by following these few simply tips.