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How People Stay Germ-Free on Flights

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When I wrote for Suite101 I posted a poll asking if people fear germs in airplanes. What choices do frequent flyers have to prevent the flu? Here are people’s answers:

“I don’t touch anything if I can help it”

Most readers (a whopping 40%) chose the unreliable but totally appealing method of “not touching things on planes.” Touching things is pretty hard to avoid if you think about it, especially on long flights that require constant viligance. Germs lie everywhere in airplanes – on arm rests, light and call buttons, overhead bin handles, bathroom doors and flush buttons, tray tables and window shades.

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The World’s Most Indispensable Movie App

The RunPee app tells you the best times to
run & pee during a movie
so you don't miss the best scenes.


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With some juggling around – using your elbows and sleeves, for example, to manipulate things – you can reduce the amount of direct contacts. You can also wash your hands frequently after touching people and things, avoid touching your face, religiously apply germ santizers, or wear surgical gloves.

Someone should step forward and be brave enough to wear surgical gloves on a plane.

But, the problem still remains even if you touch nothing – microbial germs are also in the air, from people coughing, sneezing, talking and simply breathing. Since “not breathing” is not an option, wearing a face mask could help.

No one seems brave enough to risk looking ridiculous wearing a mask as yet, either.

“I sedate myself with booze in flight”

20% of Business Traveler readers indicated that a steady supply of airline booze was a great way to fight off infection while flying. Perhaps this is simply wishful thinking or even rationalization, but it’s a known fact that alcohol, and especially red wine, contains helpful antioxidants. Alcoholic spirits are also a time-honored disinfectant for field surgery.

What people are saying
about the RunPee app.

Nprtykty, 03/28/2021

Brilliant idea with great information

I’ve been using RunPee for a few years now and it’s basically a requirement of going to the movies for me. The best part of course are the “pee times” that give you cues, synopses and times for when you can pee without missing the most important parts of the movie. There is also information about the credits- length, extras and if there are any extra scenes at the wayyy end. Super helpful to just know that it is or isn’t worth staying. There is a timer function that will buzz your phone when it’s a good time to pee. I also appreciate that the app is very conscientious about it being an app you use in a theater- dark background, all silent alarms etc. I will always enjoy the experience of the theater even if I could watch things at home- but I’ve even used it at home to check for things like after credit scenes or other information too.

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Get the RunPee app at the Google Play Store     Get the RunPee app at the Google Play Store

However, there is no proof that liquor can vanquish the flu, or even a cold. And remember, alcohol also dehydrates the body, which is not useful for a tip-top, healthily functioning immune system.

The third choice was a tie between:

“I swear by Airborne” and “I take First or Business Class and don’t worry about it,” with each taking 15% of the votes.

Airborne seems helpful if taken correctly, which is a bit of work; one needs to down the tablets in water before the flight, during the flight, and after the flight. Airborne isn’t cheap, but at least it tastes okay. If travelers are mindful to keep on schedule, the Vitamin C, zinc, antioxidants and other helpful herbs seem to do the trick in staving off nasty post-flight respiratory infections.

Taking First or Business Class is also highly recommended if one has the means. Seats are further apart, there is a private bathroom and fewer sick children coughing on the back of your seat. You get decent meals with healthy vegetables and fruit. Frequent soothing hot beverages and even hotter face towels flow like wine.

Will a better flight class keep you from getting sick? Well, probably not – even those on an expense account can catch a cold and spread it to the rest of the luxury passengers. But at least you will be further apart from your neighbors. You might even get some restful, healing sleep in those comfy horizontal sleep pods.

“I drink soothing, hydrating herbal teas or orange juice”

Only 10% of readers chose to imbibe juices or hot teas to keep dry, infectious plane air at bay. Perhaps most readers would rather drink the booze, or rely on Airborne instead of O.J.

So there it is: drink a lot in first class while touching nothing and popping your Airborne.

Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga and coming soon Inside Out 2, Despicable Me 4  and many others. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today’s blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there’s a new film out there, we’ve got your bladder covered.

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