Tag Archives: holiday sickness

The holiday sob stories that should never happen

Travelsick woman
Feeling ill on holiday can be avoided, don’t let it happen

They’re the nightmares that should never happen to anyone.

No, not the missed flights or missing baggage. Not even the half-built hotel with the accommodation not ready.

Somehow those get resolved – there’s always a fudge fix – even though you have to scream the place down to get it.

Sickening for something

No, what really puts the mockers on your holiday is getting sick.

Feeling like grim death and being unable to do anything. Sick as a dog for your precious few days in the sun – then back home still feeling lousy.

Especially as it’s avoidable.

Yes, you read that right – it doesn’t have to happen.

It’s possible not to get sick AND MAKE SURE YOU DON’T.

Easy peasy too.

  1. Go to the bathroom.
  2. Run water into the basin.
  3. Say out loud “Holiday health horrors start with your hands”.
  4. Get the soap, give your hands a good going over.
  5. Rinse off and dry with paper towel.
  6. Do this before every meal – and of course, after every visit to the loo.

Kid’s stuff, right?

Yeah, but it works.

And just think how easy you forget to do it when you’re having fun. Dicing with disorder. You’re on a holiday roll, time is precious. Come on, let’s go, go, go!

Wash your hands and enjoy

A whole morning, a whole afternoon. The whole day can go by and you never stop. Grabbing a quick bite to eat when you can, noshing with your fingers. Burgers, fries, kebabs, pizza, whatever – don’t let nothing slow the fun down.

Uh huh.

And how clean are your hands when you do all this? Foreign place, lots of people – all touching and grabbing and using the same things you are.

Not remembering to wash THEIR hands either.

The sunbed mattress on the beach? Middle of summer, three months into the season – how many people have used it before you have? How many times does it get cleaned? A wipedown once a day? Once a week? At all?

Yeah, you got it. Lots of things never get cleaned at all. The handlebars on your quad-bike. The handrails on the bus to the beach. The statue everybody kisses for good luck.

Next thing, serious sob stories like whole families coming down with hospital illnesses – lasting phobias, allergies, digestive systems on the fritz for the rest of their lives.

For why?

Because like every single one of us, out-and-about you never thinks of washing hands from one second to the next. So how’s about the fact that we each touch our faces 2,000 – 3,000 times A DAY?

OK, so maybe the hotel ARE lax about serving food – keeping it safe from flies, keeping it properly hot or chilled, leaving it out in the open for hours.

What are you, crazy?

Are you going to eat food that’s visibly off like that? Put up with the obvious sloppiness of it? Ignore the dangers?

First off, if you DO eat food like that – you’re not blind – it’s your sob story, you live with it.

Complain, complain

Second, you owe it to yourself – and the hotel – to complain. In fact it’s your duty. The great United States were even founded on it.

You ever watched how these people run making holiday experiences happen for people like you?

Every day, another four or five plane-loads – check-in, organise, service. All of them on seven-day turnaround – from Stockholm, Hamburg, Vilnius, Dublin, everywhere.

Which means nose to the grindstone, 24/7 – no peace for the wicked, and what do you mean sleep? So is it any wonder something falls through the slats occasionally and stuff doesn’t get done?

Because the rookie manager is handling it and having a bit of a meltdown, or the caterers didn’t deliver, or the computers were down at the central laundry, or any one of a million things – you know the score. Sob stories never start deliberate.

But if you don’t complain, nothing will get done about it. Other things will get done instead and your issue will get forgotten.

Other people will get food poisoning, other people will go to hospital – all because of you, because you didn’t complain when you should. The silent sob story.

Nobody wants a Moaning Minnie of course, bitch like a fish-wife and you’ll most likely get ignored.

Constructive criticism

But what are you really doing?

Alerting the management to a problem, that’s what. So they can do something about it. So they can make it better. Nobody wants to run a sloppy business, that’s the way to bankruptcy and failure.

Which means sounding off when something’s wrong is actually doing the place a favour.

You don’t want the iffy experience, they don’t want the dodgy rep that goes with it – everybody wins when you open your mouth.

Which comes back to why you get ill.

You’re not going to eat food if it’s off, are you? So complain. Or walk out. Or both.

You owe it

You owe it to your own body. You owe it to the golden seven days you spent all those thousands of pounds for. You owe it to other people so they don’t get ill either.

You owe it to your hosts too – hotel, restaurant or whatever. They suffer too if the go out of business. And you can’t wash your hands of that responsibility either.

If you had a successful holiday, great. If you had a rough time, get well soon.

Next time, remember soap and water – and whatever you do, don’t shut up.

Originally posted 2015-09-02 15:27:39.

Colleagues back with holiday bug? You’re next!

Depressed businesswoman
Count on it – whatever they got, you’re coming down with it too

Be glad you didn’t meet them at the airport.

The whole plane-load came down with this one.

Holiday hangover

Loos backed up, overflowing air sick bags – even the flight crew were looking green. A real hero of a pilot too.

Not you, thank goodness – and it was even on the six o’clock news.

Three days to your own holiday and you’re not eating any of that foreign stuff. Strictly good British graze for you, no messing about.

Er, except it’s not over, till it’s over.

Sure your mates are home safe right now. Getting over it with stacks of Imodium and Buscopan. Quarantined and out of it, so everyone in the office is safe.

Glad to see them when they’re better too. Not nice to be ill. Not nice to double up more than you planned on either – extra work when you’re trying to get clear.

But they’re your pals and you like them, so you do it with a smile.

And they like you too, so you score with the pressies – holiday souvenirs to laugh over when the tummy cramps and diarrhoea are finally gone. Some kind of norovirus the Doc said.

Yeah right, just stay off the foreign food.

As if.

What goes around, comes around

Because next thing, you’re down with the same bug too. Out of action, honking your guts out, and you haven’t even packed your bags yet.

Quick! On the phone to the airline. Are you ATOL protected? What about your insurance? You’ve GOT to cancel. Aargh!

Next thing is, why? Why you?

Your mates brought back a bug, they stayed home till they were clean, then you got it. How come?

Look no further those pressies – fridge magnets, coffee mug, T-shirt, pen, music box, bottle of booze, beach towel, souvenir hat, whatever. Fomites, all of them.

So what’s fomites?

The things you touch, that other people touch, that carry germs. Which is everything else in the office too, right? Including the door handles, lift buttons, computer keyboards, phones, light switches, photocopier, you name it.

Because it’s a nasty fact of life that though nobody’s sick, the germs that can make them that way can live for sometimes weeks out in the open.

And not just on fomites.

In the air too

We each of us trail around our own personal bio-aura of bacteria – our signature cloud of microorganisms unique to us – viruses, bacteria, fungi, moulds, dust, whatever.

And this stuff is so light it can hover and linger in the air for days and weeks, waiting to land on somebody and find a new home.

You.

Uh huh.

Your pals came back to work clean, but the bio-aura they brought from home could still carry the bug they suffered. They’re safe, but not your work place.

Yup, the whole office is bugged – inhabited by the same norovirus nasty that flew back from holiday with them.

Which means the only way you’re going to avoid coming down with it – and everybody else who hasn’t yet had a dose – is to nail all those viruses and bacteria before they nail you.

Effective debugging

Not every office has a Hypersteriliser yet.

But with dangerous germs so easily transferred by jet travel – and medical science discovering more and more of them are resistant to antibiotics – such machines could soon become as familiar as window blinds.

Because without major effort or turning the place upside down, one Hypersteriliser can make any room totally sterile and safe from germs in as little forty minutes. No viruses, no bacteria – every microorganism in the place, gone.

It does it by misting up the place with ionised hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff that may have sparked life itself on Earth – actively spreading through the air, into cracks and crevices, oxidising viruses and bacteria to nothing.

Haven’t got one in your office yet?

Let’s hope they get one, before too many people go on leave. Or before winter comes with its latest version of bird flu.

Unless they do – and unless you’re meticulous about always washing your hands – you’re next, for sure.

Originally posted 2015-07-24 16:49:44.