In the ongoing battle to restrain the spread and the devastating consequences of COVID-19, we should all be attentive and responsible towards all the possible protection measures, from social distancing to border control, to our everyday essential personal hygiene habits at work or home.
As experts suggest the simplest, most effective, and best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus that has killed over 200,000 people and affected around 3 million over the globe, follows the rule of basic personal hygiene of washing hands.
According to the World Health Organisation COVID-19 is spreading through the respiratory droplets. Those generally travel around three to six feet and get on surfaces. As known, they can live on surfaces from several hours to even days. There is a considerable risk of getting infected by inhaling those particles. However, there is a more substantial risk of getting the virus through touching different surfaces like desks, doorknobs, or handrails where those particles may have previously settled.
That is why it is essential to consistently wash your hands to minimize the damage of the virus for you and the others around.
Wash your hands:
The primary rule in personal hygiene during these difficult times is, of course, washing your hands frequently, especially in the following cases:
- before, during and after caring for a sick or vulnerable person
- after touching surfaces outside of your home
- after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- after visiting a public space, inclusive of public transport, markets and places of worship
- after touching money
- before and after eating.
Remember: the basic rule of thumb, besides cases mentioned above, in personal hygiene is always to wash your hands:
- after using the toilet
- after handling rubbish
- after touching animals and pets
- before and after eating
- after helping children use the toilet
- when your hands are visibly dirty.
Studies prove the effectiveness of washing hands to stay healthy and reduce the risks of various infections.
A 2006 study suggested a reduction of the risk of getting a respiratory infection by 16%. A 2008 study showed a better result of a 21% reduction.
A great alternative to washing hands can be to include hand sanitizers to your hygiene equipment. Take into consideration that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those have to contain at least 75% alcohol to be effective. However, if your hands are extremely greasy and dirty, those won’t be able to do the job properly.
Did you know? Cold and warm water are equally effective in the process of killing germs and viruses, as long as you wash your hands the right way and use soap while doing it.
If you are still wondering on how to wash your hands the right way, follow these steps:
- Start with wetting your hands with running water.
- Make sure to supply enough soap to cover wet hands.
- Scrub all surfaces of the hands, including between fingers, under nails, and the back of hands, for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse thoroughly with running water.
- Rinse thoroughly with running water.
- Dry your hands with disposable hand towels or blower hand dryers.Other protective measures include:
- Not touching your face: This might sound extremely hard to some and will consequently require more conscious effort, because as studies show the average person touches their faces around 23 times an hour. Interestingly, about half of that time, they’re touching the mucosal surfaces that COVID-19 infects – their eyes, mouth, or nose.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or upper arm.
- Staying home in cases when you feel sick, and reaching for appropriate medical guidance.
- Keeping surfaces clean: If a surface is dirty, try to clean it first with detergent and water. After that also make sure to use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (of minimum 75%)
- Practising social distancing: Make sure to have virtual meetings and calls if necessary, or postpone meetings entirely, if possible instead of meeting face to face. Try not to hug or shake hands. Be attentive towards making a conscious effort to avoid crowds.
Personal hygiene is one of the key milestones in the fight with COVID-19 and other viruses affecting our health, social, and economic life. Make sure to follow the tips mentioned above to create a safe environment for you and your loved ones. And remember we will help you with that!
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