One of the positive things we have learned from COVID-19 is how to better protect ourselves against bacteria and viruses. People around the world know how to maintain a safe social distance, wash and sanitize their hands frequently, and wear a face mask in public. In addition, there are things a company can do to protect employees from more than just the coronavirus.
Although the common cold may seem tame compared to the coronavirus, it still sickens millions of people each year. It also frequently leads to more serious respiratory conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia. Getting a nasty cold or a related condition can keep employees home sick and away from work, which costs employers a huge amount of revenue due to lost productivity. Sneeze shields have grown increasingly popular in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they also protect against airborne germs that are emitted during a cough or sneeze. These devices are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, and they help to safeguard employees against many kinds of respiratory ailments that can be caught in public places.
The flu, or influenza, is another common and potentially serious illness that is easily spread. The usual flu season runs between fall and spring, although it can be caught year-round. Routine handwashing has proven to be extremely helpful in protecting people from catching the flu. Rinsing your hands for twenty seconds after touching someone or something that may have flu germs may help to reduce the risk of transmission.
Maintaining a safe amount of social distance might help to reduce the impact of certain allergies. People who are sensitive to perfume or other strong scents may smell it slightly from a distance of several feet and be able to avoid close contact with the source. Pet dander is another allergy trigger for sensitive individuals. Someone whose dog or cat sits on their lap or has gotten near their clothes may have shed dander or fur that could spike a reaction from someone close by. Added distance may reduce the significance of the exposure and prevent or minimize symptoms.
Rarer but possible public contaminations of head lice, bed bugs, or scabies, for example, may be somewhat avoidable when shared surfaces like a bus seat or public handrails are frequently sanitized. Cleaning and sanitizing any shared surface can reduce the risk of germ transmission.
Basic precautions like those introduced during the pandemic may be useful in protecting employees against other types of germs and illnesses as well.