My 4 year old is taught at school to cough into his elbow. But have you ever noticed how many adults cough into their hands? As I write this, a man is sitting next to me who has been coughing into his hand. He just stood up and placed that same hand onto the tabletop, and now some unsuspecting person is going to place their coffee on said tabletop. Thanks for the caffeine and the germs, yuck!

I have been racking my brains as to how we re-educate adults? It’s like we have been mis-taught basic germs 101. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has some really ugly flyers that one can print. But seriously, am I going to hand a leaflet to some man sitting next to me at a coffee shop? How do you avoid being smacked when trying to remind people of a really basic health need? Why do people not realize that when they cough into their hands, they effectively spread their germs EVERYWHERE! The Mayo clinic states that germs can stay alive for minutes or up to 48 hours, depending on the surface they’re spread on. Which means that you could get infected with this man’s germs several hours after you sit at the table next to me!

I found this catchy ditty on the internet to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

Cover, cover, cover your cough
Cough into your elbow.
Cough and sneeze, and sneeze and cough.
Germs don’t spread around. HEY!

But I’m sure my nearby gentleman wouldn’t appreciate the tunes. Perhaps a short rap? “You’re getting your germs all over my perm.” Clearly not my best talent!

How about a Facebook campaign. A catchy viral video (pardon the pun). A street corner protest. Anyone out there got a great idea for a Cough into your Elbow you germ spreading cretin campaign? In the meantime, I think I’ll redesign those CDC posters into a cute business card and take it from there. Cough, cough.


  1. I’ve never even thought of coughing into my elbow! I cough into my hand and wash my hands a lot. Have taipight my son to cover his mouth when he coughs too. New trick is definitely the elbow one… 🙂