Monday, August 19, 2013

GenCon Wrap Up Part I: Avoiding Con Crud

Or: Why I am happy to shake hands at a con.

The last con crud I picked up was in 2008, and I'm pretty sure it was from a meal. I've been to dozens of shows over that time, shook a lot of hands, and even had a roommate come down with the flu in mid-con. So what's the secret? It's super simple.

  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water, soda, or whatever.
  • Aim for six hours of sleep each night. I try to avoid caffeine after mid-afternoon to help with this rule.
  • Eat well. I eat at least one salad per day and fruit whenever I can. You can usually find a place in the con center selling apples or bananas alongside breakfast foods.
  • Wash your hands. Hot water, soap, and recite the alphabet A to Z to time scrubbing.
  • Resist the urge to touch your face, eyes, and nose. You can't catch a cold from germs hanging out on your hands. Those little buggers need an entry vector. Don't give them one.
  • Assume no one else is washing their hands. It's kind of paranoid, but it's an easy way to remind myself to avoid touching my face and to wash up before eating. All it takes is That Guy to shake your hand before you chow down on an apple.
  • I know some people don't shake hands, but really if you do all this stuff you don't need to worry about. Even if you avoid handshaking, you're still exposed to tons of stuff that you can only counter by washing your hands and taking care of yourself.

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