What Happens To Sneeze Particles on an Airplane?

Spoiler alert: You’re going to want to take a bath in Lysol

I’m sick. Like, coughing, runny nose, puffy face sick. One might think with as much as I fly, I’d be sick all the time. That isn’t the case, however. In fact, last year I only had a few quick sore throats that were easily fended off with sleep and fluids. As well as looking at websites like https://quantumhealth.com/shop/product/cough-relief-bagged-lozenges for natural sore throat relief.

But this weekend, it got me (though it probably didn’t help that I was doing snow angels in Syracuse). Now, who really knows where you might pick up a cold, but I have a good idea. On my four hour flight from Seattle to Detroit flight last Friday, the guy next to me had a really deep cough, was very sneezy, and NEVER covered his mouth! It was disgusting.
So, being the curious one that I am, I did some research and came across this interesting article in Popular Science, and by interesting I mean it will absolutely disgust you and make you want to wear a hazmat suit the next time you fly.
So, here’s the video. Be prepared to be totally grossed out.

Did that make you want to take a shower immediately, not to mention Lysol down your carry-on bag?

Just like my passenger, this simulated passenger is extremely inconsiderate and didn’t cover their mouth. So next time you cough or sneeze on a plane, cover your mouth.

And how do you do that properly? Well, the CDC has instructions for you.

I am that person that brings anti-bacterial wipes and wipes down the plane (seat, headrest, tray table, tv, window, arm rest, etc.) and then also does the same thing in my hotel room. Yes, people give me odd looks, but I’d rather be healthy than worry about my judgmental seatmate. I go through so many of these wipes when I travel. My friend even mentioned that I should just Bulk buy wet wipes to make sure I always have enough to take away with me. That’s not actually a bad idea, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to germs.

And side note, I am a firm believer in avoiding using hand sanitizer unless it’s the only option. I especially would not use one when traveling as they increase the absorption of BPA, which is abundant in the thermal paper that makes up most receipts and boarding passes. Even the CDC says washing hands with soap and water is the best way to remove microbes, and suggests only use sanitizer if no soap and water is available.

Anyway, I’ll just go back to drinking my Yogi Throat Comfort Tea and waiting for this thing to pass while covering my sneezes with tissues.

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  1. I'm immunosuppressed due to my recovery from cancer. I wish this were required reading before being allowed in public. Everyone wash your hands, soap & water, sing Happy Birthday in your had twice as you lather. Safe travels! Great post!

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