Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Florida businessman who's flown 33 times and spent 160 nights away this year reveals his coronavirus safety regime which includes wearing multiple layers of gloves and changing his mask every time he uses the bathroom

A Florida businessman who has flown 33 times and spent 160 nights in hotels this year has revealed his coronavirus safety regime which includes wearing multiple layers of gloves and changing his mask every time he uses the bathroom.
Mika Manninen, CEO and co-founder of dairy-free yogurt brand Hälsa Foods, said he has been following a strict routine while traveling for work in order to keep him safe from contracting the virus.  
As well as following quarantine rules 'to the hilt', the essential worker explained how his regime covers each step of the traveling process from the airport to the airplane, to staying at a hotel and hiring a rental car.  
'It would be insane not to be afraid,' Manninen, a Finnish native who now lives in Palm Beach, told CNBC.  
Florida businessman Mika Manninen who has flown 33 times and spent 160 nights in hotels this year has revealed his coronavirus safety regime which includes wearing multiple layers of gloves and changing his mask every time he uses the bathroom
Florida businessman Mika Manninen who has flown 33 times and spent 160 nights in hotels this year has revealed his coronavirus safety regime which includes wearing multiple layers of gloves and changing his mask every time he uses the bathroom
Manninen has spent just nine days in his own home since March - when most people hunkered down under stay-at-home orders - instead jetting to cities around the US including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Seattle, as well as making four trips abroad to London and Helsinki.
The businessman credits his virus-free status to date to his meticulous routine that includes avoiding buying anything in airports, wearing a collared shirt to limit his skin exposure on airplanes and cleaning all surfaces in his hotel rooms and rental cars before using them.  
Manninen's routine begins at the airport where he wears multiple layers of disposable gloves and removes a layer each time he touches a new surface. 

'When I enter the airport, I wear multiple layers of disposable gloves, and I peel them off as I go through it. Trams, escalators - peel a layer, check-in, use a kiosk with a touch screen - peel a layer, TSA security check - peel a layer,' he told CNBC.
'I did not realize how many surfaces I actually touch until I started paying attention to it.' 
The businessman also uses a paper ticket instead of a phone app to avoid his cellphone coming into contact with surfaces.  
Mika Manninen said he has been following a strict routine while traveling for work in order to keep him safe from contracting the virus
Mika Manninen said he has been following a strict routine while traveling for work in order to keep him safe from contracting the virus
Manninen is the CEO and co-founder of dairy-free yogurt brand Hälsa Foods (pictured)
Manninen is the CEO and co-founder of dairy-free yogurt brand Hälsa Foods (pictured)

'Hundreds of passengers scan their phones, and many lay them flat on the glass,' he explained. 
The CEO also avoids buying any food and drink in the airport.  
'Do not buy anything: no food and no drinks,' he told CNBC.
'If you buy water, wipe the bottle with antiseptic wipes.' 
Manninen said he keeps his distance from fellow travelers by sitting 'in the corner alone' and finding a non-crowded bathroom in the airport. 
'I swap my mask every time I use a bathroom,' he added.  
The businessman, who has spent around 75 percent of 2020 on the road, said he is less concerned about airplanes because aircraft cabins undergo a 'total change' of air between 20 to 30 times per hour and up to 50 percent of cabin air is recycled trapping bacteria, fungi and viruses - but the airport 'is a different story'.  
That said he also has a strict protocol for once he boards a flight including avoiding the bathroom in the aircraft and covering up as much of his skin as possible.  
'I expose the least amount of skin as possible. Funny, the only time I wear collared shirts is on the airplane, just to cover my neck,' he told CNBC.
'I don't let my skin touch any surfaces.' 
When he boards the aircraft, Manninen said he wipes all surfaces at his seat, including the seat belt, belt buckle, headrest, window shades and the air and light adjusters above the seat. 
He also said he changes his mask every four hours. 
'It's safer and oddly gives you a feeling of freshening up,' he said. 
'Bring extra masks; last week I tried to drink water with my mask on. Needless to say, I had to change it.'
Manninen admitted his stringent routine has divided opinion from other travelers, with some ridiculing him while others think he is smart.  
'When flying to Europe in late February… I was going through my routine cleaning of my seat and two guys across the aisle were staring at me,' he told CNBC.
'One said "We should probably do the same. Might be smart right now." The other one looked at me and said "Dumhuvud" which is Swedish for dumbass.' 
Manninen's safety measures continue when he gets to his hotel, where he will wipe clean all surfaces including the door handles, light switches and the shower head as soon as he steps foot in his room.
'When I check into my room, I clean every surface with wipes - all door handles, light switches, the remote control and the phone,' he said.
'In the bathroom, I also wipe down the showerhead. I'm 6 feet 2 inches, and I always end up adjusting it.'
He also limits cleaners entering his room by leaving trash and dirty towels outside the door.
Workers wearing protective masks check in travelers at San Francisco International Airport. Manninen's routine begins at the airport where he wears multiple layers of disposable gloves and removes a layer each time he touches a new surface
Workers wearing protective masks check in travelers at San Francisco International Airport. Manninen's routine begins at the airport where he wears multiple layers of disposable gloves and removes a layer each time he touches a new surface
'If I stay for multiple nights, I only let the cleaning service into the room every fourth day,' he told CNBC. 
'Once I have cleaned the room for myself, letting someone else come in only forces me to clean the whole place again.'  
Manninen follows a similar routine when hiring a rental car - something he said he has done 22 times so far this year.
'Spend 10 minutes cleaning it up before driving off,' he recommended.
'I use sanitizing wipes to clean every surface I might touch, including the steering wheel, seat belt, key fob, seat adjusters, rearview mirror and steering column adjuster. 
'I assume the rental car is my own little domain after that.'
He said he puts gloves on when he leaves the car and then chucks them when he gets back in: 'I try to keep all germs outside.'
The businessman admitted that he has been carrying out the intensive traveling regime long before the coronavirus outbreak ramped up this year. 
He told CNBC he first started the regime about a decade ago when he kept catching the common flu when traveling - but he has now added masks and gloves to the routine.  
'The only difference now is that I don't get 'the dude is paranoid' dirty looks nearly as much,' he said. 
'But I figured that if by following this regime I can keep myself healthy, I will help keep us all healthy, so it's worth the extra effort.'
Despite his precautions, Manninen told CNBC he and his family members still fear he is not doing enough to stay safe. 
'When I come home, I can't hug my wife, and I have to stay on the other side of the house,' he said, adding that his dad in Scandinavia refused to meet him even through a window because he was coming from the US 'where the virus is not taken seriously.' 
His coworkers have also nicknamed him 'El Diablo Covid' and told him to stay away, he said.
Manninen added that, even with all the safety measures, there are still some trips that just aren't worth the risk: 'There are several trips I did not do, some I deemed too risky, and with others, we could not figure out the rules.'  

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