We have a good friend who is an airline pilot.  One night, while chatting, she revealed that airplanes are not as clean as you’d think. They typically look clean because they get vacuumed, but considering they spend very little time on the ground between flights there rarely is time for a deep, thorough cleaning. All day long, people with colds and other illnesses get on and off the plane.  The flight attendants do pick up trash, tidy the cabin and put the seat belts neatly across the seats, but that’s about it.

This lines up with our experience:  I noticed over the years that whenever we flew somewhere, I’d often be sick a few days later. We figured we’d been around new germs and that  it was par for the course. But then our pilot friend gave us a tip that made so much sense:  bring Clorox Wipes on the plane with you.

Now when we board, we quickly grab a wipe and clean the arms of our seats, the seatbelt, the seat belt buckle (being sure to get under that flap), the tray tables and those little things that swing around to hold them in place.  Basically, we give a quick once-over to anything near our seats that we might touch.  People look at us strangely, and we have to work hard to keep our fannies out of the aisle while others board, but I stopped getting sick after flying.

So you know what?  We started bringing wipes to hotels because we’d heard that hotels can also be places for germs.

Photo by Ann Teget for postcardjar.com

Now when we check in to a hotel room, we take about three minutes to grab a wipe and clean things like the remote control (which half the time is sticky, anyway), light switches, and the phone.  Basically, we try to think of the things housekeeping wouldn’t normally clean but probably get a lot of dirty finger traffic.

Speaking of dirty finger (and other parts) traffic — we recently spent five hours at Union Station in Kansas City while waiting to board an Amtrak train late at night. Before resting our heads on a bench in the Great Hall, I took our Clorox wipes to the seats, which had already been cleaned by the night cleaning crew. Here’s what I got.



Moral of the story, if you don’t have time to have bronchitis (‘aint nobody got time for that!), then bring along a travel pack of Clorox Wipes or some other brand of disinfectant, and be well even after you get home.  Given the fact that Ann is taking medication that suppresses her immune system, this is one tip we follow each and every trip.

How do you stay healthy when you travel? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you.

  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome
  • Our daughter, Meghan, is a cardiac ICU nurse. Despite all of the current uncertainties in healthcare during this pandemic, early this morning she put on her scrubs and went to work a 12+ hour shift. 
She is not alone. Across the country and around the world, healthcare workers are putting the safety of themselves and their families at risk to help others. It's what they do. Every. Single. Day. 
We are incredibly grateful that there are selfless people like this in the world and we pray for them and we hope you'll join us. 
We couldn't sleep this morning, so we wrote instead. Click on the link in our bio to read our morning thoughts and prayers.
  • Trying to decide where we’ll travel this weekend. Covered porch? Living room? 😉
  • We are staying home. 
We've been here for almost a week now because Ann is one of "those people." You know the ones. Those people with an underlying health issue. Those people with a suppressed immune system. One of those people who could become seriously ill, need hospitalization, and even die if exposed to the coronavirus.  Those people need your help to stay safe and live. And all you have to do is stay home when you don’t NEED to be out.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen photos, videos, and witnessed first hand people of all ages (but mostly young people) gathering in groups for what us mid lifers would consider “non essential” reasons: birthday parties, movies, youth sports practices, St. Patty’s Day celebrations at the bar, spring break at the beach, and the like. 
We don’t understand it. 
We try not to judge. 
But just for a time during this worldwide pandemic, could we ask people who are participating in non-essential activities to consider who “those people” most at risk really are?

Those people are already battling serious illnesses.

Those people want to see their grandchildren grow up.

Those people need to do their jobs as nurses and doctors.

Those people are first responders. 
Those people run the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the gas station. 
Those people pray for you and your generation. 
And what about those other people? 
The ones you know.

Those people who made sacrifices to meet your needs.

Those people who took care of you when you were sick.

Those people who went to your games and cheered you on. 
Those people who taught you in school.

Those people who helped you pay for college.

Those people who cooked your favorite dish for you.

Those people who taught your Sunday School class.

Those people who have forgiven you.

Those people who will always love you unconditionally.

We keep wanting to scream, “It’s not about you, it’s about those people!” But the truth of the matter is, IT IS ABOUT YOU. 
You have the power to help.
You have the power to influence others.
You have the power to flatten the curve.

And by not changing your behaviors, you also have the power to harm. 
How will you choose to use your power?j
  • We’re sharing your postcards and encouraging you to help others and stay positive. 
If you’d like to send us a postcard, mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

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