Since physical distancing is very important in the new normal, the same goes with good hygiene in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
We’ve been reminded daily that the simple practice of hand washing with soap and clean water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus. But did you know that there is still more to learn about washing our hands?
- Soap and clean water go hand-in-hand.
Hand washing is effective because it removes germs from our skin mechanically.
Washing our hands with water may wash the dirt away, but germs are so small the process needs soap to make its magic work.
This is because scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds will allow its molecules to go deep and break down any bacteria or viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 coronavirus.
2. Don’t miss your fingertips!
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that thumbs, fingertips, and spaces between your fingers are commonly missed areas during hand washing.
That is why it is important to keep our fingernails short and guarantee that microbes that live underneath are removed.
3. Sanitizers may not be as effective with visibly dirty hands.
Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
If your hands, however, are greasy or dirty from working in the garden or changing tires, they may not work well, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hand washing with soap and water is more recommended in such cases.
4. It’s best to wash hands using clean, running water.
The CDC also recommends the use of running water as the hands could be contaminated if placed in old standing water.
After wetting your hands, make sure to turn off the faucet to conserve water.
5. Teaching others about hand washing will help you and your community stay healthy.
Research shows that hand washing education in the community reduces respiratory diseases like colds by 16-21 percent.