Chat with the chief: Sneezin’ season

One of the worst seasons is upon us.

No, I’m not talking about spring. I’m talking about allergy season.

As the weather warms up and plants start to bloom, the pollen in the air takes my allergies to a whole new level. You can always find me sniffling hard to avoid a violent sneeze attack during a lecture or dabbing at my itchy eyes with a Kleenex to prevent the tears from smearing my mascara.

I know I’m not the only one enduring this ridiculously annoying time. All around me are red, sniffly noses and loud coughs.

And yet, although basically everyone has this problem, so many people don’t know how to deal with it hygienically.

Sometimes when I’m sitting in my college classroom, it feels like I’m in a preschool. Some people don’t cover their coughs or sneezes, launching their germs into the air for everyone else to breathe in and catch. What’s just as bad is when people cover their coughs or sneezes with their hands, then continue to touch something of public use, like a desk or a computer in a lab.

I thought these were basic guidelines everyone learned the second they were old enough to comprehend it, or when they began public school. Apparently, that’s not the case.

And the worst part of it all? You never know if what you touch is safe. It’s impossible to know if Coughing Calvin blocked his cough with his hands, then pressed those hands all over a table in the University Center. You’ll never be aware if Sally Sniffles wiped her nose with her sleeve, and then her sleeve touched a keyboard in FLITE.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to gross you out.

What I’m trying to say is that people need to be more courteous of others during allergy season. If you’re feeling under the weather, clean your hands a TON. I like to clip a mini hand sanitizer to my purse and backpack so I can always use some after I blow my nose or cough. I think that’s a pretty good practice, and if we all did that, the world would be a much cleaner place.

I know the custodial staff sanitizes the tables and desks often, but when they go all day without being wiped down, you never know what you’ll contract. Therefore, I think if we all put in a little more effort to not be gross and keep our hands and surfaces clean, it would prevent others from getting sick.

So, the next time you cough in a remotely shared space, cover it up with your elbow. Bring a pack of tissues to class or work, so you always have a way to sneeze or blow your nose without spreading germs.

I didn’t think this would be as big of an issue as I’ve witnessed it to be. The next time you’re feeling under the weather, remember my words and what you were taught when you were three: cover your mouth and nose!