My son's teacher spreads disease!!!

This is not really a rant, but more an expression of disbelief.

I was at my son’s school yesterday for parent/teacher conferences. While talking with his social studies teacher, I noticed he paused to cough. When he did so, he coughed directly into his right hand, then immediately brought both hands together and started rubbing his palms together.

I was incredibly grossed out by all this. Mrs. D didn’t notice.

When we left, he offered his hand for a handshake.

What was I supposed to do? Be rude and not shake his hand?

So I shook his hand. Once we left, I bee-lined it straight to the bathroom to wash my hands. When I explained to Mrs. D what I was doing, followed suit and she did the same.

This is unbelievable. I would think that a school teacher of all people would want to stop the spread of disease and cough into his elbow (like they are teaching most kids in school nowadays).

Do you think I should mention anything to the school’s administration?

I wouldn’t go to the administration, but I’d probably say something to the teacher. If you’re in this position again, speak up, but in a jokey way to diffuse any hurt feelings. I was at a meeting last week and the person sitting next to me kept hacking all over the place. I gathered my stuff and moved. She said, “It’s not the flu - I just have a cold.” I don’t care, dude! I don’t want a cold, either, especially if it involves a phlegmy cough. Yuck.

How do you know he was ill, and doesn’t just have a smokers cough or something?

I’d have washed my hands, but I wouldn’t have ‘bee-lined’ straight away, just waited until next time I was in the bathroom unless I was eating before.
But really, don’t your actions seem a trifle OTT to you?

I don’t care if he’s certified germ free, it’s still gross to cough right into your hand and then shake someone else’s.

And if you don’t wash your hands right away, you’re spreading those germs to things you touch. Cold and flu virus can live on a hard surface for hours (IIRC). That’s why handwashing is so heavily promoted. Someone germy coughs in their hand, then grabs a doorknob/a phone/a cart at the grocery store. Someone else comes by and touches that, then absentmindedly rubs their eye or chews a fingernail, and you get transmission.

Imagine all the people who do this that you DON’T see do it, then you shake their hands. It happens way more often then you probably realize, and you didn’t die from it.

I certainly wouldn’t talk to the administration, but if it bothers you that much, mention it next time, but not in a rude way.

You’re supposed to cover your mouth when you cough, right? Given as most of us don’t carry handkerchiefs any more, what are you supposed to use to do so? And after doing so, are you disqualified from all further handshaking until you can either wash your hands or find some of that ubiquitous disinfectant gel?

Around here, people cough into their elbows.

Where have you been? :wink: You cough or sneeze into your elbow. Even Elmo knows that!

Or if you do have to cough into your hand, make it your offhand to minimize chance of spreading it elsewhere, and at least wipe it off with a tissue or something ASAP, to help.

It’s worth noting that I work in a hospital and we haven’t received enough H1N1 vaccine for most of the staff, and I used to work with patients with AIDS, so I’m hyper-aware of disease transmission issues. And yes, I do have a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in my bag and in my white coat pocket. :smiley:

The teacher is obviously a terrorist hell bent on infecting the utes of the world.

I always have a bandana about my person, if I’m in public. In my house, I have a variety of facial tissues, which also come in a handy pocket and purse pack.

Hey, stop coughing on me!

It is?

Why, is this a firing offense these days? :wink: Seriously - if you think it’s that big a deal, maybe you could recommend to the school administration that they give their teachers a general reminder. I wouldn’t single out this one teacher.

I work the phones for Sirius XM on the XM side of things and I deal with people calling to activate and deactivate their radios and I had a subscriber once tell me what a terrible person I must be to go to work sick.

See I was all sniffley and coughing and my voice was all scratchy. But the deal was I was dealing with allergies not any kind of cold that was catchy.

It really kind of bothered me that this guy was lecturing me on going to work sick when he really had no idea what was going on and that this time of year in Iowa is a bad time of year for lots of people.

Wow. Three exclamation points for this, plus an hysterical headline.

I can see the news media is doing its job turning us all into crazy people.

When did we all start coughing and sneezing into our elbows? I never got that memo and I don’t think anyone else I know did either.

Now see, that’s just rude. I get a lot of sinus/allergy issues that tend to turn into sniffles and occasional scratchy throat, so most of the time I don’t have anything of significance going on regardless of how I sound.

PunditLisa: Yeah, that was a little panicky. I think a reminder of good hygiene techniques wouldn’t be out of the question.

Edit: NAF1138: the government’s been encouraging people to do it. NBC’s White House Correspondent even got gently ‘scolded’ for not doing so when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was speaking.

As has become vogue to say when one agrees wholeheartedly: This.

It’s one thing if you’ve got bubonic plague. But we’re really getting paranoid about germs. Hands get into everything. Most of us have immune systems. Wash your hands as normal before meal times and stop worrying about it.

I can’t get used to this new cough-into-the-crook-of-your-arm thing. I’m from the olden days, when it was considered incredibly gauche to do things like that.

I don’t think most people are worried about dieing or getting the bubonic plague :rolleyes:. I have things to do and really don’t want to feel like shit for three days, just because some people can’t be bothered to practice normal hygiene. Not only that, but there are things going around this time of year besides H1N1 (my son’s classroom is being overrun by strep right now) that would require a doctor’s visit and maybe antibiotics. Our insurance has been incrementally increased and we’re now at the point that we pay $800/month for the pleasure of having a $5000 deductible. Every doctor’s visit costs us $100+ out of pocket, not to mention the drug costs. A teacher (who spends most of his time in a germ factory) essentially spitting on his hand and offering it to me could potentially cost me hundreds of dollars. No thanks.