You can still go to the movies this Fall, Swine Flu or no Swine Flu. The trick is being smart about public places.
First off, and most importantly – if you are SICK, then stay home. It’s crucial to be considerate of others and not pass along what you’ve unfortunately caught. If your kids are sick, then keep them home too. Drink fluids and rest. Catch up on your Netflix queue. The Center for Disease Control (the CDC) offers tips to help you recover from your bug.
If you’re healthy, then you’d probably like to stay that way. You can still get out of the house and enjoy a new film!
Here are RunPee’s suggestions to avoid catching the H1N1 (swine flu) Virus at the cinema:
- Pay for your movie tickets with plastic. Cash gets passed through many hands and an object carrying the flu virus can, according to the CDC, “survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited.” You probably know at least where your credit and debit cards have been recently.
- Try not to touch cinema door handles or seat arm rests too often. If you do, try not to touch your face, and then go wash your hands. RunPee offers suggestions on good times to head to the restroom if you feel the need to wash up during a film.
- Bring along some anti-microbial gel and remember to use it after you get comfortable at your seat. The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based gel, reporting that gels should be “rubbed into hands until they are dry.” It’s still best to actually wash your hands when you can, but studies suggest a good hand sanitzer can help prevent catching a virus through touch.
- You could even wipe the arm rests down with a household cleansing tissue like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Stick a few wipes in a baggie and keep them in your purse for times like this.
- If people are persistently coughing behind you, don’t be afraid to move to another set of seats. You might annoy someone by getting up and moving, but it’s better for you to not catch a possible flu, or to have your film enjoyment marred by Swine Flu worries. You can select a PeeTime and then just move to another area in the theater.
- Don’t share your sodas. Everyone should have their own sodas and own bags of snacks at the movies. Don’t let anyone put their hand in your box of candies or popcorn. It sounds selfish, but it’s just the best way to prevent catching and/or spreading viruses.
- Remember to wash your hands after eating your movie snacks.
- When you run to the restroom, don’t use your hands to flush toilets, turn on sinks or open doors. Get creative – use your foot to flush, your sleeve to open doors and lock toilet stalls, use paper towels to turn sinks off and on. Become conscious of things you touch with your hands.
- That said, you still need to wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand santizer after using theater restrooms. The Mayo Clinic recommends using simple but thorough handwashing practices.
- It might not hurt to be healthy in general – take your vitamins, get some rest, eat right and take up yoga (or whatever you do to decrease your daily stress levels). 🙂
How does the Flu Spread?
The CDC warns: “Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.”
The lesson here? Don’t be paranoid of the Swine Flu, but do be aware. Wash your hands (it can’t be said enough), don’t touch anything you don’t have to, and don’t sit next to sick people at the cinema.
Don’t forget to print out your free PeeTimes for the cinema, or use the iPhone mobile RunPee App to help you decide when to run to to the restroom during your movie.