Hygiene in the midst of this global pandemic marks its place as the most important shield any individual should have. These flu-like viruses are spreading widely and quickly around the world. In the absence of vaccines or treatments against Covid-19 as of yet, one powerful combo that can help stop the spread of the virus is soap and water.
Good hand hygiene could reduce cases of infection, respiratory or other deadly diseases. Let’s review our Chemistry. A virus is made up of genetic material wrapped and covered in a fatty coating. Rubbing the hands together, creating friction and with the help of soap molecules can disrupt this lipid membrane and will cause it to break and fall apart. When these fragmented viruses got lost into the surrounding environment, it becomes inactive and gets washed away upon rinsing your hands. The spread of germs, its transmission and risk generation are literally in our hands. We can catch germs when we get in contact or touch a contaminated object or surface, then we consciously or unconsciously touch our face, especially our mouth, eyes and nose which are some main points of entry for bacteria and viruses.
It is encouraged to do voluntary isolation of one’s self by staying home especially when feeling ill. Social distancing will do a great help since it will limit the transmission of the virus as you will be away from other individuals and will have lesser chances for physical contact. However, touching of an object, walkways, handrails, grocery items, money bills and even other person cannot be totally avoided. This is when proper hygiene and proper handwashing should take place.
Make sure to adjust the water temperature and pressure to a comfortable level. Wet your hands and dispense a small amount of a decent soap brand into the palms of your hands. Lather your hands by rubbing them together and make sure you do up to the back of your hands, between your fingers and even under your nails. Create friction and rub it for at least 20 seconds, you may count in your head to be sure you are washing for an adequate period of time. Rinse your hands thoroughly under clean, running water. Now, use a cloth or paper towel to dry your hands.
Do not worry if you do not have access to clean water and soap. You can still practice your cleaning hygiene by use of alcohol-based hand cleaners or sanitizers. There might be a little difference on their effectiveness but in many situations it might call for, they will still save the day for you. Apply the gel or liquid product to the palm of one hand and rub your hands together. Make sure to go over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until they get dried up. Roughly, it will also take about 20 seconds too.
Handwashing is our first line of defense against this Covid-19 virus. Good hygiene is the key to avoiding spreading it – and of course, catching it.
Whilst all these efforts to promote handwashing are happening in the fight for this global pandemic, remember that it will also have an impact on the spread of many other diseases. When this pandemic is over, when we have flattened the curve, maintaining proper hygiene can save countless lives. 👍