Tips From a Germaphobe: Eleven Ways to Keep the Cooties at Bay


You hear it, “Ahchoo!!  Wheeze, snarf, sniff,  sputter, deep rattling cough!”  Forget about horror movies, this is the stuff that makes my almost deaf ears hear and my hair stand on end .  Or the ever dreaded, “My kid was throwing up all night, but here’s the pie I said I would bring,”(insert Alfred Hitchcock knife scene music).    I don’t want your pie!!

Gone are the carefree days of summer, where my favorite past time of swimming pools (fun and disinfectant all in one!) and play dates filled up our calendar. We already caught the plague in September and let me tell you, I thought of hunting down who ever left their cooties on my kids and making them pay with the vengeance of a… a…well something bad.

Today my kids had to go in for their well child appointment. The irony of this situation is comical. The one free visit from our insurance company, is the one visit of the year that my kids go in healthy and bring home da funk!  Oh, the humanity!!

I remember in my healthy days, I used to pop my medication pertaining to the virus I had and spread the plague like the pale horseman out of Revelation. I can’t even remember washing my hands after handling raw meat, picking up trash off the ground, or even staying home when sick, I just didn’t care!

I have had a whole lot of life that has happened between my son’s health and my own. If you hate getting sick, or you just want to do the rest of us a favor and help keep the world healthier, give these tips a try!

  1. Wash your hands!! Simple but true!  Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket any time you have to touch something that mass quantities of people have touched, or some “sickerson” insisted on shaking your hand. I dream of the day at church where we shake each others hands and anoint each other with hand sanitizer!
  2. Keep your hands off your face and don’t put inedible’s in your mouth. You know, that pen you are chewing on, the one you dropped on the floor yesterday where Farmer Ted was standing… Need I say more?
  3. Change your clothes and take off your shoes when you get home. This is a pretty simple method of making sure that anything you stepped in, sat on, or rubbed up against isn’t able to leave a trail of terror around your house. Germs can live up to 24 hours on surfaces and that even means clothes (Up to 4 weeks or longer if it is Norovirus unless cleaned with bleach, this will be the gift that won’t stop giving).
  4. Gargle salt water.  After you come home from being in public, mix 1 tsp of salt with a cup of warm water, and gargle. This is supposed to cut down airborne sickness and help kill germs.  Anytime I have a sore throat, I will do this throughout the day. I found gargling to the tune of “Little House on the Prairie,”  gives a nice deep clean!  Germs can’t survive when salt is in the mix!
  5. Saline rinse your nose. My sister hates this one.  She is convinced she feels she is drowning. However my son who has asthma, has really seen the benefit of the ancient method. It’s great for helping with sinus issues and colds.  There are several varieties you can buy that will do the trick.
  6. Take a shower!  Some germs you can’t kill.  Being that I am short, I spend most of my time being in the “sneeze/cough zone.”  It’s so gross, and I have had people do it straight in my face and in my hair. So take a shower and say good riddance little germies!
  7. Cover your mouth like a vampire!  Seriously, adults are the WORST about this!  A lot of these sicknesses could be prevented if people just coughed or sneezed in the crook of their arm instead of their germ spreading hands.  My kids have been taught early on, if I can hear it clearly, you didn’t cover well enough!  If done properly, it should sound muffled and we will all be so happy that you cared enough to protect us from the misery you are enduring!
  8. Stay HOME!!  If you are really sick, don’t take your kids to the play grounds, family functions/ etc! I can’t tell you often I hear, “I know we should have stayed home but the kids were bored. They were looking forward to coming so much and I couldn’t say no.” Just say NO! It teaches them patience, compassion and consideration for others.  People with weakened immune systems would like to get out too! If you are running a fever, hacking, throwing up, or anything that results in, “This is horrible,” please for the love of Moses, stay home! We don’t want your plague!
  9. Up  your vitamin C/Probiotic intake. My husband has several wedges of lemon added to his water. Great for vitamin C, digestion, and it puts a zing of energy in your day! Also probiotics are the only good bacteria we like in this household. We use supplements and Kefir (the champagne of dairy!) a liquid yogurt with many delicious flavors to try(although avoid Chocolate Truffle, because it ain’t).
  10.  Make sure to wipe down all surfaces that are used continuously with disinfectants!  Especially if you have the pukey flu. Throw out tooth brushes that have been used during sickness ( The best $1.99 you will spend!). Viruses can mutate and you don’t want to keep spreading the” love” around.
  11.  If you are sick, do not prepare food!! Stop right there Missy. It doesn’t matter if you signed up to bring the brownies, meatballs, or cheese dip. I can’t tell you how many FB posts start with, “I have been SO sick… Followed by, “Bringing the bean dip to the party it, should be tasty! ” No, no isn’t. People, we don’t want your infected bean dip! (Remember #8) Simply explain you have been sick and you will be the hero of the night.

Even if you don’t care or feel getting sick is not a big deal to you, it is to a lot of us out here. From babies, to the people battling life altering health conditions, to the elderly, we thank you!  The best gift you can give all of us this season, is the consideration of doing these extra steps to keep this world a little healthier.

So if you hate germs, sleepless nights by the world’s dirtiest porcelain, vaporizers with eucalyptus, mouth breathing, or paying your doctor just to hear he/she say “Ew, (long awkward pause) it’s just a nasty virus.”  Try out these simple steps and hopefully you can save those sick days for a nice healthy skip day!

6 thoughts on “Tips From a Germaphobe: Eleven Ways to Keep the Cooties at Bay

  1. Great post! I have too often been “that girl” showing up when I shouldn’t.

    Just curious if you’d share the probiotic you like? I am looking for a good recommendation!


    • Oh Christy, I hope you feel no shame! You are normal and I am well, a bit different… As far as a probiotic I tried pills and they didn’t agree with my system. I ended up coming upon an article about Kefir. It carries 12 different strains and is loaded with protein. I use Lifeway Kefir and love it! They have numerous amounts of flavors. My husband and kids use Nature’s Way Primadopholous (kids and adult). I was skeptical about probiotics, but have found they have really changed our lives for the better! I hope that helps!


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