If your colleagues are coughing and sneezing, your best hope is to ask them to go home. Failing that, get them to wear a tight-fitting ‘N95’ face mask (a 2018 study at the University of Hong Kong estimated that these block out 95 per cent of an infected person’s germs). If you don’t have one to hand, though, there are other things you can do.
Move at least one metre away from your sickly colleagues to avoid any direct transmission from contaminated droplets sprayed by coughs and sneezes. Give them some antibacterial wipes to clean their desk surface (or do it yourself), and don’t use their keyboard as this is a surface that’s notorious for harbouring germs.
Clear the air by opening a window or turning on the air conditioning (as long as it sucks in 100 per cent fresh air). And finally, look after yourself – stress makes you more susceptible because it weakens your immune system, so get plenty of sleep and eat well.
- Why are we more likely to get sick if we are cold?
- Are offices making us more sick?
- How far do coughs and sneezes travel?
- Why do we drool before being sick?