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Q: Colds and Flu ( No Answer,   12 Comments )
Subject: Colds and Flu
Category: Health
Asked by: digsalot-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 29 Oct 2006 07:11 PST
Expires: 28 Nov 2006 07:11 PST
Question ID: 778088
I hope nobody actually answers this and sticks to comments only.  The
reason being is that I feel the information should be made available
to as many as possible.

So, call it a "community service" question if you wish.

Flu and cold season is here again, and yep, I've already got it. So
bad that I'm not only talking through my nose, but typing through it
as well. ( I know, eeeeeewwwwww )

I haven't been exactly socially active and among crowds the last few
weeks but I am fairly certain where I picked it up. My doctor seems to

He thinks it may well be one of the most common methods of spreading
the diseases and very few people ever think about it.

People carefully avoid touching door knobs or handles, wash their
hands, etc, but most all make the same, usually overlooked error.

The ubiquitous shopping cart.

It gets handled by dozens of people a day.

How many of you have ever noticed kids with runny noses pushing a cart
for mommy? How many of you have seen somebody make a back of their
hand swipe at their nose, then go back to pushing the cart? I don't
need to list many examples for you to get the picture.

Not only do people push their carts with their bare hands, but when
they remove an item from the shelf and put it into the cart, viruses
and bacteria from the cart handle are transferred to the item
directly, such as on fruit and vegetables, or to the packaging of
processed items.

Now some of you may think I am going to suggest wearing rubber gloves
while shopping. Nope, it will do little good at all.

Bacteria from the cart handle will still be on the gloves and will
still get transferred to goods handled. And the disposal of the gloves
themselves may be a problem.

My suggested solution.

Carry a small packet of antibacterial cleaning wipes with you, such as
"Wet Ones Kids Antibacterial Wipes" or some other similar product, and
wipe the cart handle thoroughly before using it.

Now the wipes will kill most of the bacteria, and even viruses which
they might not kill, will still be greatly lowered in number just from
the cleaning itself.

Now many people seeing you do this may very well think you are nuts. (
many people already think I am nuts, so it doesn't bother me in the
least )

Suggest to local store managers that they could hand out a
antibacterial wipe to customers as they enter the store. It could even
be promoted as a "community service' action taken by the store.
Actually some very cheap advertising for them if promoted properly.

Comments appreciated.

Cheers and safe shopping
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: keystroke-ga on 29 Oct 2006 07:21 PST
Hmm, I'm not sure if that would indeed be a community service at all!

We might very well be saving ourselves from being shot in the hand by
shooting ourselves in the foot in the process.

Those antibacterial wipes would get rid of ALL the bacteria, even the
good bacteria that we need to fight the bad bacteria off!  Result:
sicker people, with bad immune systems, who are not immune to any
types of bacteria and get sick at the slightest contact with bacteria.

Yes, bacteria can be bad, but many of them (and in fact, most of them)
are there to help us and we need them to live. We can't just go around
everywhere wiping them out.  Unfortunately, there are many people who
don't know this and go around their poor kids anti-bacterial-wiping
their entire existence.

I have seen at the grocery store lately some kids who have a
blanket-type covering over their shopping cart seat.  Certainly
someone is making some money off that bright idea. Perhaps a covering
for the entire shopping cart could be in order?

But anyway, all this antibacterial stuff (soap, wipes, even many
things in hospitals) is self-defeating in the long run.  Spread the
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: digsalot-ga on 29 Oct 2006 07:41 PST
There is that to consider and it is a valid point.  However, for many
people, it can't be considered at all.

For example, as a diabetic, avoiding infections is very important. 
There may be others, and undoubtedly are, whose immune systems are
already compromised and for whom such a simple measure as wiping a
cart handle may be a life saving action.

Just as in many other things, there is no one-answer-fits-all situation.

Overall, I still believe that it is a wise action to take during cold
and flu season - or any other time for that matter.

Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: keystroke-ga on 29 Oct 2006 07:52 PST
Soap and water would do the same... but I guess they're not
conveniently pre-packaged so it's not quite as easy.

I don't think a diabetic person is doing themselves any favours,
because in the long run they're creating more problems for society and
for future diabetics (and themselves in 10 years).  A blanket covering
the bottom of the cart could do just as good as far as the food goes.

Someday, everyone will be able to grocery shop online and this won't be a concern!
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: tlspiegel-ga on 29 Oct 2006 08:20 PST
Hi Digs,

Most of the major store chains have this as soon as you go through the
front doors:  an apparatus that has the bacterial wipes available to
wipe the carts.  You pull one (or two or three) out through a little
slot on top and there is a garbage can beside it that is basically
closed on top and it's easy to dispose of the wipe in the can w/o
touching anything.  You wipe the cart handle as soon as you enter the
store, prior to shopping.
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: probonopublico-ga on 29 Oct 2006 08:25 PST
Well, Digsy, I liked your idea until I read the negative comments ...

And I still like the idea of posting questions as a Community Service BUT ...

Surely, the spread of germs is largely the fault of Archaeologists anyway?

They are Curses from Tutankhamen and others. 

And I bet that you never wore surgical gloves when you opened up
sacred tombs, did you?

Anyway, great to see you back & I hope your cold soon goes.

Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: tlspiegel-ga on 29 Oct 2006 08:26 PST
Ooops, neglected to post my link!  (cached page)
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: digsalot-ga on 29 Oct 2006 08:55 PST
Hi Bryan

Surgical gloves beneath cotton gloves.  Hazmat approved breathinig
mask and goggles.

Also, no shaving for a few days before opening a new tomb.  Skin cuts
can become infected.

A tomb may contain a nicely bundled and wrapped package, nice art work
and more.  But it is still a receptacle for a corpse.  We treat it

The same procedures hold true for working with a mummy in a museum setting.

Breathing mummy dust is not responsible for my mental condition.

It was the sun that did it.  The unrelenting and over bright sun
endlessly beating from an overheated sky.

That and being chased by a camel.

Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: kemlo-ga on 29 Oct 2006 10:15 PST
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: steph53-ga on 29 Oct 2006 14:18 PST
I have only one comment....

Get a FLU SHOT!!!!!

Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: markvmd-ga on 29 Oct 2006 18:29 PST
Nobody gonna mention flu is a virus and not (much) affected by antiBACTERIAL wipes?

Keep your hands away from your face. Contact lens wearers, IMHO, seem
to suffer more colds than those of us less vain (cheapskate, in my
case) glasses folks.
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: nkamom-ga on 30 Oct 2006 16:18 PST
Even if you avoid the shopping cart handle, you still get germs from
the little stick placed between orders, the money the cashier gives
you, the produce all those germy hands touched, the freezer door
handles, the sneezy cashier her/himself, the credit card keypad, etc.
Subject: Re: Colds and Flu
From: keystroke-ga on 06 Nov 2006 14:57 PST
To expand on what markvmd said...

I wear contacts and I rarely take them out (I use Focus Night and
Day/O2 Optix, the breathable kinds and take them out maybe once a
month or every few weeks) and I have never had an eye infection
despite almost 10 years of this.  People who take their contacts in
and out every night and morning, handling them and exposing them to
the air, touching their eyes, think that they're being more hygienic
but my theory is that they are not and are simply making the lenses
dirtier. Perhaps I'm crazy.  I've had so many people tell me that I'm
going to get a terrible eye infection one of these days, and guess
what?  It's never happened.  They seem to experience problems
regularly, though.

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