Health & Wellbeing

Winter Etiquette Rules

Sanitise yourself of your Winter sins, writes germophobe Sarah James.

Returning to uni for Semester 2 is a source of dread for many. Assessments, no parking, and a seemingly never-ending queue to Gloria Jean’s.

And when you do finally triumph over the parking lot, get a coffee, and decide to hit the books, something more foul, more sinister, more off-putting, rears its ugly head.

A cough.

Suddenly, you’re infected.

I feel it in my glands, I feel it in my throat. The flu is all around me, why can’t you all stay home.

If you would prefer to not be the subject of my lyrical appropriation, follow our winter etiquette rules!




Rule #1

For those of you that regularly attend lectures, I take my hat off to you. It’s an admirable effort. EXCEPT, if you’re bringing your germs with you.

Lectures are hard enough to pay attention to, let alone with someone wheezing at the back of your neck. Furthermore, if are you going to sneeze, maybe turn to an angle where you can contain it, rather than spraying it all over the girl next to you. (Yes, 18-22 year old Caucasian male from Introduction to Communication 2015, I am still not over you deliberately turning to sneeze on me).

Even better, just stay at home. Keep your sickness to the confines of your bed. It’s all on Echo anyway.



Rule #2

The argument of whether you can blow your nose into a napkin is a long-debated one (RE: Hamish & Andy). Now if it’s a nice disposable one, go for your life. However, if it is one of those fancy, fabric type ones which you can tell is going to be washed later, please steer clear. Some poor soul is going to have to clean that, and the last thing they want to handle is your mucus.

This rule holds true to any type of customer service environment. Retail assistants already have to deal with enough rubbish, let alone your used tissues. Put it in the bin buddy.



Rule #3

Public transport is a difficult situation to manoeuvre. If you’re familiar with the peak hour trains in Sydney, you will know that personal space is non-existent. If your face isn’t near someone’s armpit, you’re doing pretty well for yourself.

Learn from the mistakes of the woman who decided to use the back of my coat as a make-shift tissue. ‘Bless you’ was not exactly the phrase going through my head.

Instead, sneeze into your own sleeve i.e. your elbow. By doing this, you will likely upset far fewer commuters. Alternatively, you could try and pre-emptively grab a tissue. But who’s got time for that.



Rule #4

Gyms are not exactly known for being clean. Aside from the obvious sweat and body odour issue, gyms are basically a Pokemon Gym equivalent breeding ground for bacteria. Fun fact: free weights have been found to have 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

I would be surprised if you were feeling the gym if you were full-up with the flu, but if you did decide to go, sanitise! Sneeze into your hands? Sanitise. Blow your nose? Sanitise. And for those of you who aren’t sick, sanitise anyway. It’s there for a reason.

Sanitise your hands, sanitise your soul.



Rule #5

Even when you’re sick, sometimes the mood just happens to strike. However just because you’re keen, that doesn’t mean that your Tinder matches are.

As a common courtesy, maybe give them a heads-up before they come over. There’s nothing worse than going to someone’s house and realising that you’re not going to leave with your health intact. If you find someone who is still willing to spoon despite your sniffles, hang on to that one. They’re a keeper.

If not, well what better excuse is there than the flu to spend all day in bed watching Netflix. Embrace it.



Feature Image: William Brawley via Flickr, no changes made.


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