Your flu paranoia is entirely normal and justified. According to a new poll out from Stericycle—the company that disposes of flu shot sharps and other medical waste—9 in 10 of us Americans take preventive measures such as frequent hand washing to avoid the flu. Nearly half of us avoid shaking hands during flu season, and almost a third of us avoid traveling during flu season.
No touching! No travel! These quirky flu-avoidant behaviors are practiced for good reason: Of those who contracted the flu last year, three-quarters missed school or work, and of those, a third missed 4-6 days. (Men, beware: 42% of men were out that long, showing a marked loss in productivity, as opposed to 26% of women.)
Bosses, pay attention: Two-thirds of Americans would think more positively about their company if flu shots were offered as an employee benefit—because really, who has time to run to the pharmacy (34%) or the doctor (46%)? Flu shots are in vogue this year. Over half of Americans got one last year, and 3 in 5 adults plan to this year.
Germophobes, your concerns are entirely reasonable. Carry on.