What, exactly, is the “Disney Funk”? No, I’m not referring to the post-Disney vacation depression. The Disney Funk is the name I have “lovingly” given to the sickness that inevitably occurs to one, two or even all in my family after being exposed to all those lovely germs when visiting Walt Disney World. I love Walt Disney World with all of my heart, and I love that others love it as well. I don’t love the fact that people who are carrying germs leave souvenir’s of their own behind for innocent bystanders to be blessed with.
I’m aware that some don’t even realize they are carrying contagious germs while vacationing, but there are also plenty of people who, despite the fact that they know they are contagious, feel like they spent too much money on their own vacation to stay in their room recovering. Instead, they decide to hit the parks, touch every surface in sight after NOT washing their hands, cough and sneeze into the air without covering their mouths, thus exposing thousands of others to their sickness.
I’m pretty sure this is how my husband picked up his particularly nasty cold on our last trip. We do carry hand sanitizer to the parks with us, and trust me, we use it faithfully. We wash our hands with soap and water whenever possible. We do all we can to avoid the nasty germs and viruses floating around out there. Somehow, it’s just never enough. We only went to Walt Disney World for three days on this trip. Three tiny, little, itty-bitty days. Yet, in those three days, I saw more adults than children walking around picking their noses (I’m sorry if that’s too graphic, it literally made me gag when I witnessed it every time), hacking their heads off without even attempting to cover their mouths and contain their germs, and sneezing out into the vast openness in front of us and many others, again without an attempt to cover their mouths or noses.
What happened to the coughing and sneezing etiquette we were taught in Kindergarten? Why, as adults, do some feel it’s no longer necessary to cover their mouths and noses when hacking their heads off? It’s not just a polite thing to do, it’s a necessary thing to do to prevent the spread of dangerous sickness. As sick as my husband got after this trip, I can’t imagine how sick some elderly or young children with weaker immune systems could have gotten when exposed to these same germ spreaders.
We have now been home from our Disney trip for eight days, and my husband is still miserable. He suffered coughing bouts so severe, he actually pulled a muscle in his back. He has been so congested, he couldn’t eat and breathe at the same time. It wasn’t pretty to watch. Why do innocent park guests have to suffer through this? It’s bad enough having to drive home from vacation for seven hours when you are exhausted and you know you have to go back to work the next day. Driving seven hours, exhausted and knowing you have to return to work with sickness setting in is definitely no picnic.
So why am I even writing this article? Believe it or not, I’m not writing it just to complain about the lack of common courtesy out there. I’m actually writing it to offer a few tips. Hopefully the people who actually need to read this will see it eventually, because it’s become glaringly obvious that not all of us were taught these few, basic sanitary common courtesies. I’ll try to keep my list pretty short and simple, yet effective.
- If you are sick with a contagious virus, DON’T GO OUT IN PUBLIC. Especially to a place as crowded as a Disney park. I don’t mean don’t go to a doctor or pharmacy. Obviously, if you need medication, you may need to be seen by a doctor and then pick up your medicine. I do mean, don’t go somewhere that thousands of people are at and expose your germs to them.
- Wash your hands often and use soap and water to wash them. It seems silly to even type that out, but I have seen umpteen women walk out of a Disney bathroom stall and totally bypass the sink to just walk straight outside. People…that’s just nasty. Wash your hands!
- Cover your face when you cough or sneeze. Again, this is just common sense to most people, but I witnessed a large amount of adults as well as children who need to be taught this. It’s really not that difficult. The general method taught is to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you don’t have a cloth with you to cover your face. It does a pretty good job of containing germs, so go for it. I’m a little bit of a germophobic, so I also suggest washing your arm after or using hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes on your arm after.
- Wash your hands after you touch your mouth and nose. This goes even if you have used a tissue to touch your mouth or nose. Tissue’s are flimsy, you know it and I know it. They won’t keep the germs off of your hands, so wash them even if you have used a tissue.
These four simple steps can go a long way toward protecting others from picking your virus. A virus really isn’t a fun souvenir to take home from your Disney vacation. Trust me, others will thank you for the precautions you have taken for their benefit. Let’s all do our part and work together to protect our loved one’s from the Disney Funk.
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