Cold and flu season is an especially important time to take precautions such as the flu shot, but in reality, you can develop illnesses from cold and flu viruses at any time of year. And moving cross-country could raise your risk for a couple of reasons, such as stress, exhaustion, and using public restrooms.
Here are some tips to help you reduce exposure and susceptibility to cold and flu viruses during a long-distance move.
1. Monitor Outbreaks
On a cross-country move, you could end up passing through or even spending the night in several different large cities in multiple states. Check the CDC’s Current Outbreaks List page before your move to see if any notable outbreaks of illness exist in any areas you’re planning to pass through.
If a bad outbreak of flu or some other transmissible illness is occurring in any one spot along your route, you may be able to change your route to avoid it.
2. Provide Hand Sanitizer for Everyone
Hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent of alcohol in it is CDC-recommended for situations where you can’t wash with soap and water. This could be, for example, at a rest area that has inexplicably empty soap dispensers, or while you’re in the car driving down the road. So make sure to keep some hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket.
You may also consider providing bottles of hand sanitizer at your home throughout the packing and loading parts of the move. Encourage any friends, family members, or moving professionals to use hand sanitizer frequently.
3. Add Extra Time to Minimize Stress
The more pressed for time you are, the harder you’ll have to push yourself to get everything packed and cleaned and loaded, and the more exhausted and stressed you’ll be. Unfortunately, stress could actually affect the functioning of your immune system, which in turn could leave you more vulnerable to illness.
So enlist as much help as you can from friends and family, start to prepare for the move as early as possible, and take as much time off work for it as you can afford. Look for as many ways as you can to build in extra time. If you don’t end up needing as much time as you have, it’ll give you a chance to decompress and throw off some of the built-up stress.
4. Control Humidity and Hydration
The cooler months of the year often come with lower humidity, especially when you’re running a furnace or a car heater. So, both in the car or moving truck and in your house while packing up, you could end up with your mucous membranes drying out and giving viruses a chance to get into your body.
To avoid this increased susceptibility, you can both keep your body extra hydrated by drinking a lot of water and keep the air around you more humid with a humidifier. Keeping the humidity over 40 percent could help reduce or slow virus spreading, according to some research. You can even get a small humidifier that plugs into your car to keep the air humid during the move itself.
5. Get Your Flu Shot Early
If you’re planning to get a flu shot, keep in mind that it will take around two weeks for the immunity to kick in. So plan ahead and get your shot early enough to be totally covered before your move, even if you don’t get the shot right at the start of the flu season.
These tips could help you take care of yourself during a cross-country move and help your body fight off infection, but they aren’t intended as medical advice. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any medical issues you have and about how your cross-country move could affect your health.
For more information on moving services and the rates we offer for cross-country moving, get in touch with Christofferson Moving & Storage today.