The Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe. Travel to and from hotspots has been greatly reduced and people are doing all they can to ensure that they protect themselves from the virus including stockpiling food and hygiene essentials.
As Governments come together to help fight the spread of the virus, it is also up to us to ensure that we protect ourselves from contracting and transmitting it through our actions. One of the most effective tools in this fight seems quite simple at first: washing your hands effectively.
One of the reasons that hand washing is so effective against the virus is that the virus has a fat membrane that holds its structure together. Soap breaks down this structure and dissolves it, leaving the virus to break apart. Making it inactive and unable to spread.
Using soap and water while rubbing your hands together ensures that the soap gets into the small wrinkles in your palms. Rinsing well with water then washes away the remnants of the virus together with the dirt and other foreign objects.
Follow these steps when washing your hands
- Wet your hands with a little bit of water
- Apply soap and rub your hand palm to palm
- Rub the back of each hand with your fingers interlaced
- Rub your palms together with your fingers interlaced
- Rub the back of your fingers with the palm of your other hand. Switch hands and repeat
- Clasp you hand over your opposite thumb and rub it thoroughly, switch hands and repeat
- Rub the tips of your fingers on each hand
- Rub each wrist with your opposite hand.
- Rinse well with water
- Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel.
This whole process should take you at least 20 seconds. A good way to remember this is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice as you wash your hands. Using music and making it fun not only helps you remember it also helps get children excited about hygiene and therefore more likely to wash their hands more often.
Hand sanitizer is a quick fix when you cannot wash your hands. However, note that it is not as effective in breaking down the fat membranes of the coronavirus. You also should only use hand sanitizer when your hands are not visibly soiled.
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