“It’s going around” has a whole new meaning in 2020. As of this posting, tireless researchers and dedicated scientists still haven’t found a good fix for the coronavirus pandemic. But there are still plenty of things Commercial drivers can do to protect themselves against Covid-19 and fight it off if they contract it. We aren’t claiming that these tips will make you corona-proof, or that they are everything you’ll need. But read our last article on Covid-19 safety to get more details on the Most Important habits to keep you safe.
- Eat Right. Being healthy is more than just washing your hands. And if any kind of bug catches you, you’ll want to be as healthy as possible to fight it off fast. But “eat right” is easy to say and harder to do. Here is an article about ways drivers can eat healthy on the road. It’s one of those things that helps the most afterward. If you ate healthily and get sick, you’ll be thankful you did. If you ate junk and get sick, you’ll regret it for sure.
- Boost Your Immune System. Your body’s immune system is a badass army of tiny cells that goes to war against invaders like Covid-19. It’s the reason coronavirus isn’t more deadly. But everyone’s little army of cellular Rambos is at a different level of strength, depending on eating habits, exercise, whether or not you were just sick, etc. There are off-the-shelf vitamins and supplements you can take to pump up that immune system. Look for labels with Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, or Elderberry. These won’t keep you from getting the Covid-19 virus, but they’ll help you fight it. Give yourself a fighting chance, Lone Wolf.
- Fresh Air and Exercise. We won’t beat you over the head with the exercise thing. We’ve done that already. But since coronavirus is passed to people from other people, it’s best to go outdoors. The science here is basically a numbers game. Germs can live longer in a comfy environment than in the great outdoors. You’re more likely to be surrounded by germs you’ve picked up and ones put off by other people inside than outside. As for exercise, see Tip #1. Being healthier before you get sick will help you when/if you do get sick. You might have noticed that so far, we’ve only talked about things that will mostly help you if you get sick. “But what do I do to not get sick in the first place?” We’re coming to that.
- Clean Your Cab. What’s the germiest thing in your truck? If you said, “me,” then go take a shower. On average, the surfaces with the most germs in any cab are the steering wheel, the cup holders, seat belts, inside door handles, gear-shifter, and audio volume knob. See a connection? These are all things you touch. The best way to make sure germs don’t get inside you is to keep them off your hands and the things your hand’s touch. So wipe down those surfaces you touch the most (don’t forget your keys and phone) with sanitizing wipes.
It also couldn’t hurt to vacuum the seats, change the air filter, and sanitize the floor mats. How often should you do all this extra work? That’s a tricky question. You’ll probably have to decide what level of germ-extermination you want for yourself and how much you can stand driving with the smell of disinfectant. A good rule of thumb is to wipe down what you touch the most (wheel, shifter, seat belt, door) a couple of times a day, especially after you’ve been at a stop.
- Wear Gloves and Wash Your Hands. We covered hand-washing in a previous article (lots of soap, warm water, sing the “ABCs” song all the way through), but gloves can be a helpful stand-in. If you can carry a kit with gloves, sanitizing wipes, and other cleanliness supplies, you’ll be prepared for the grossest public bathroom.
That’s all we have so far! Everyone is responsible for their own health, and for the health of people around them. We are in this together, and as truck drivers our country needs you. Be well, good luck, and thank you, drivers.