Laboratory Informatics Travel: Your Health

Here it is the end of the year. Many of those who were travelling heavily are getting a break, but my sympathies to those who are travelling this final week of the year, battling with the holiday travellers. While I try to minimize my travel, I’ve been travelling the last six weeks and sick three of those six weeks. With many of those in the industry getting ready to get back on the road, next week, here are some thoughts on this.

As those who have travelled extensively know, travel not only gets you in-contact with a multitude of people, but is stresses your body and makes it susceptible to more viruses. That, plus planes are dry and are the perfect atmosphere to catch those viruses that are locked-up in that relatively tiny cabin.

That’s a problem for those of us who are fairly hearty and healthy people. I can’t imagine how those with weak immune systems deal with the onslaught of viruses that we have to deal with.

We could all refuse to travel but the truth is this: first of all, some tasks are hard to do when you don’t see people face-to-face; second of all, many companies don’t care enough about the health and well-being of consultants to make the effort to work on the travel issue. Third of all, junior consultants are often treated like cattle — like they should be so grateful for the opportunity that they should keep quiet and do whatever it takes to get the experience. Thus, many consultants will continue to travel, each year, getting sick and getting the customer sick.

All we can do is do our best to stay healthy. Personally, I’ve tried all those expensive remedies for jet lag, keeping your immune system going, and the like. For me, nothing works as well as water. Staying hydrated doesn’t prevent getting ill but I find that it helps keep me from getting as outstandingly sick as I might, otherwise. It seems to help keep me from getting all the full-blown symptoms that are possible. Other than that, I have no suggestions.

Anyone that wants to comment and give their own tips is welcome to but with the caveat that I’m not responsible for any of these tips. Try them at your own risk as this isn’t a medical blog — just people giving their personal opinions.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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