Considering hundreds of Grenadians travel on buses every day, and seated in close proximity to one another, all passengers should practice sneeze etiquette to prevent the spreading of germs.
There are some people who hold no bar when sneezing and seem oblivious to how much germs they are spreading in an enclosed space. Although Grenada’s Ministry of Health has implemented a travel restriction on persons departing from China, part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) constitution implies that citizens must co-operate to reduce the spread of general illnesses.
The Centres for Disease and Control and Prevention’s (CDC) fact sheet entitled ”Do Your Part to Slow the Spread of Flu” says sneeze droplets can travel as far as six feet. Their website also states that “Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by coughing or sneezing.”
When asked what type of precautions passengers should take on the bus, Managing Director and Resident Physician of St Augustine Medical Services (SAMS), Dr Lutz Amechi, says, “The best thing to do is to cough or sneeze into tissues and discard them into a paper or plastic bag which you are carrying for that purpose. In the absence of tissues use a handkerchief, towel or “rag”. Last resort, cover your mouth with your sleeve and cough or sneeze into your elbow. Always carry hand sanitiser, and clean your hands after every cough and sneeze.”
Dr Johansen Sylvester’s advice matches Dr Amechi’s. He said that if using a cotton cloth/bandanna, these materials must be washed in bleach or disposed of at the end of the day. He also said do not sneeze into a cuffed fist and throw away used tissues as soon as possible, “When you sneeze turn away from others especially the elderly or very young.” Dr Sylvester went on to say, “Avoid sitting in the very middle of the bus and reduce handing or holding on to the seats, when not necessary.” The physician also encourages bus drivers and passengers to use hand sanitisers, and especially after exchanging money. He also recommends gargling with warm salt water two to three times per day, especially just before bedtime.
Most health practitioners favour washing hands with soap and water. However, if not possible a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol can help prevent the spread of germs.