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cold and flu prevention tips

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So your live-in boyfriend or spouse is sick. How will you possibly get out of this without coming down with something yourself? Here you have been, taking your vitamin C, avoiding other sick people, and being so careful, but your partner with whom you share a bed comes home sick. It can feel like all of your stay-well efforts go out the window. You can avoid that sniffling coworker at the office but you can’t really avoid your honey with whom you cohabitate. Is it possible to escape his virus when you live in such close quarters? It is, but you have to be very, very careful. In fact, nearly every year like clockwork either I get the flu, or my partner does. And then we play the game of keeping the other one healthy. We have managed in most cases to make it work. You aren’t doomed to sickness just because your partner is in the other room, hacking up mucus. Here is how to stay healthy when your live-in partner is sick.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Don’t let him cook

Don’t let your sick partner into the kitchen. He should not be touching food, stove knobs, refrigerator handles, and serving utensils. He shouldn’t be breathing his germs in the kitchen. The kitchen is a no-go zone for your sick partner. You can make him food, and bring it into the room to which he is quarantined.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Sleep separately if possible

If you have two bedrooms, sleep in separate rooms (you may even enjoy it for a while, as you can avoid those petty sleep arguments). If you don’t have two bedrooms, it may benefit you to sleep on the couch until your partner is well again. If you must share a bed, make sure to never accidentally swap pillows as these can contain a lot of bacteria.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Use separate bathrooms if possible

If you have two bathrooms, use separate bathrooms until your partner is sick again. Bathrooms are breeding grounds for bacteria. If you only have one bathroom, do not go in there after your partner has bathed or showered. The steam buildup traps and transmits bacteria rapidly.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Watch toothbrush location

Watch where you place your toothbrush. Don’t put your and his toothbrush side by side in a toothbrush holder. His toothbrush carries a lot of bacteria. When he’s healthy again, toss his toothbrush out and get him a new one.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Mark cups and glasses

Mark cups and glasses so that you don’t accidentally drink from his. You may even just want to give him a designated thermos for this time.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Just be friends

No making out or kissing of any kind. Don’t cuddle. Don’t hold hands. You need to friend-zone your sick partner until he’s better again.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Tissues should go in the toilet

Ask your partner to flush used tissues down the toilet immediately. Having these sit in an open trash bin allows bacteria to escape into the air.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Wipe down surfaces and handles

Wipe down any surfaces your partner may touch regularly, with sanitizing wipes. This involves door handles, toilet handles, sink knobs, refrigerator doors, and counter tops.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Wear a medical mask

It may feel extreme but, if your partner has a really nasty bug, then consider wearing a medical mask in the house. Ideally, you’ll both wear one until he’s better.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Boost your immunity

Take vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E right now. Take them every day, and continue to take them for long after your partner is better since it will probably still be flu season.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Wash your hands often

Wash your hands obsessively. Do not so much as itch your face before washing your hands. You likely touch your face dozens of times a day without realizing it, so it’s important to keep your hands clean while there’s an active virus in the house.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Disinfect remote controls and landline phones

Disinfect remote controls and landline phones. You can’t really ask your partner not to use these, but you should wipe them down each time he does.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Don’t let him use your phone

Do not let your partner use your cell phone. You don’t want his mouth near the same place your mouth will go.

cold and flu prevention tips

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Monitor dog kisses

If you have a dog you both like to kiss, don’t—at least for now. Your partner definitely shouldn’t kiss the dog, as that dog might then come lick your face

cold and flu prevention tips

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Don’t share anything

Keep your belongings to yourself right now. Be selfish. Don’t let your partner so much as eat from your peanut butter jar or borrow your face towel.

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