you could take some echinacaea, or st. john’s wort. or a big fat placebo! it’s all the same crap.

airborne package art

Looks like Airborne changed their packaging art in the wake of losing a $23 million class action lawsuit alleging “deceptive advertising”. As in, advertising it does shit when it actually doesn’t do shit. Now, instead of a terrified man surrounded by sick people and giant germs, it’s a terrified man surrounded by peaceful passengers. What the hell is he so scared of? Probably that he spent money on what is essentially a vitamin pill crossed with a bath bomb.

Admission: I used to swear by this stuff whenever I flew. For years now, the dry, recycled air in airplanes, loaded as it is with bacteria and assorted other filth, used to infallibly make me so sick 1-3 days after landing that it totally ruined whatever vacation I’d been flying for. I read about Airborne on someone’s blog, and while I knew it was most likely a big fat placebo, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. So I took it, and to my amazement, I didn’t get sick that Christmas when I flew to Louisiana. I took it religiously for a few years, and it always seemed to work — I don’t think I can blame it for my repeated cases of Norovirus. The blame for that rests soley with the feculent state of Louisiana and its grimy inhabitants.

Anyway, long story short, it let me down bigtime Christmas of 2007. We’re talking weeks and weeks of painfully sore throats and hacking dry coughs and not being able to sleep more than a couple hours a night. I was thisclose to begging for a merciful shotgun death by New Year’s Eve. The fact that I found myself either sitting on or bent over the toilet, thanks YET ANOTHER exposure to Norovirus, certainly didn’t help.

The two best things you can do to avoid sickness when you fly is:

  1. DO NOT, under any circumstances, have ice in your beverages. ALWAYS ask them to hold the ice. Airplane ice is made with airplane water, and that stuff is loaded with E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria, the bacteria found in (as you may have guessed from the name) human excrement. It’s also a good idea to take hand sanitizer or alcohol hand wipes and use those to clean your hands after you use the restroom, in addition to washing your hands at the sink. You might as well be washing your hands in raw sewage.
  2. Take along a non-medicated saline nasal spray and keep those tubes hydrated. One of the reasons people are so susceptible to catching bugs on airplanes is that their nasal passages get so dried out, and allow a lot more germs in.
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