8 Ways to Protect Yourself from Germs in Public Places

On average, a person can touch as many as 30 objects within one minute, including germ-infested, high-traffic surfaces, which can lead to serious illness.

Here’s a list of the most likely places for germs to lurk and how you can protect yourself and your family:

shopping cart

1.Restaurant Menus: A study in the Journal of Medical Virology reported that cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. Hundreds of people could be handling menus before they are ever washed. Never let a menu touch your plate or silverware. Be sure to wash your hands after you place your order.
2.Lemon Wedges: A 2007 study in the Journal of Environmental Health found that nearly 70% of lemon wedges found in cocktails contain disease-causing microbes. When the researchers ordered drinks at 21 different restaurants, they found 25 different microorganisms lingering on the 76 lemons they secured, including E. coli and other fecal bacteria! Next time you order a cocktail, ask the bartender to hold the lemon.
3.Condiment Dispensers: It is very rare that a restaurant cleans its condiment containers. Also, it’s likely that many people don’t wash their hands before eating. So use a disinfectant wipe on the bottle before you grab it to avoid getting any germs on your french fires!
4.Restroom Door Handles: You hopefully wash your hands after you use a public restroom and even though you think you may be germ free afterwards, touching the door handle to exit the restroom can leave your hands infested with germs. Grab a paper towel before you leave and grasp the handle with it to make sure no germs are coming with you when you leave that public bathroom.
5.Soap Dispensers: About 25% of public restroom dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria! Soap that harbors bacteria may seem ironic, but that’s exactly what a University of Arizona study found. Most of the soap dispensers are never cleaned so bacteria grows as the soap scum builds up. Be sure to carry some hand sanitizer with you or if you don’t, scrub your hands with hot water and the soap for 15 to 20 seconds.
6.Shopping Carts: The handles of almost two-thirds of the shopping carts tested in a 2007 University of Arizona study were contaminated with fecal bacteria. In fact, the bacterial counts of the carts exceeded those of the average public restroom! To protect yourself and your family, grab a disinfectant wipe that most supermarkets offer today and wipe down the handle bar. If you know they don’t, carry a small pack with you or a bottle of hand sanitizer.
7.Airplane Bathrooms: When a microbiologist tested the microbes in the bathrooms of commercial jets, he found that surfaces from faucets to doorknobs were contaminated with E. coli. Clean your hands thoroughly with a sanitizer and try not to directly touch the surfaces.
8.Doctor’s Offices: A doctor’s office is known to be infested with germs. To limit your exposure, bring your own books, magazines or toys. Pack your own tissues and hand sanitizer. Leave at least two chairs between you and the other patients to reduce your chances of picking up their bugs, if possible. Germ droplets from coughing and sneezing can travel about 3 feet before falling to the floor!

Source: AARP.org

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP