I was staying at a hotel in Toronto for a few days earlier this week at the latest CRAM (Canadian Roundtable on Academic Materials) A couple of days prior to that, I'd been listening to the John Tesh radio program (my wife is a gigantic fan of his "Intelligence for your Life" radio show.
On the show this past weekend, John talked about a study done by researchers from the University of Virginia Health System in hotel rooms related to the rhinovirus (no, this isn't something Spider-Man picks up from one of the evil supervillains he fights -- it's the most common type of virus that causes the common cold) and how easily it can be contracted even 24 hours later simply by touching something touched by a previous occupant.
The four most common objects in a hotel room a person is most likely to get infected from are: the TV remote, the telephone, light switches and the faucet.
Wanting to do everything I can NOT to pick up a common cold this holiday season, I made sure I traveled with disinfecting wipes and one of the first things I did was completely wipe down any of the main surfaces I would regularly be touching in my hotel room. Starting with the door handles on my way in all the way to all the light switches, I did a thorough job of cleaning each surface.
Of course, I felt quite a bit like Niles Crane from the Fraser television program as I rushed about the room wiping down so many different surfaces. But hey, better to be laughed at for those mysophobic tendencies than to pick up another cold during this busy season.