COVID-19 Precautions: One You Can Easily Take
COVID-19 precautions are many and we listed some in our previous article. But the one precaution that’s effective not just against covid -19 but against all types of bacterial and viral infections is the age old hygiene lesson we have been taught since childhood. Wash your hands
And just because it is such a basic precaution, we tend to take it lightly. When you remind people of these basic hygiene practices as a precaution against COVID 19, you hear remarks like, ‘who doesn’t know it!’ and ‘of course, I always wash my hands before eating.’
That’s true. We all know about it. But you may not be carrying out this basic hygiene act properly or you may not be doing it when it should be done.
Why do We Need to Wash Our Hands?
One obvious reason is that nobody likes dirty hands. And, hands are also the means of catching germs and spreading them to others. If you touch a surface that has germs on it like doors, railings, etc. and without washing your hands eat something, or touch your face and eyes you have a fair chance of getting sick.
Hand washing is particularly important after using the toilet, after touching or playing with pets, before eating anything. And this goes without saying that hand washing is a must while you are working in the kitchen.
In fact, hand washing is a basic precaution you can take to avoid poisoning or food contamination. If you have helpers in the kitchen, you need to ensure they learn and abide by the following basic handwashing rules in the kitchen:
Before and after cooking a meal
After handling raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
After cleaning kitchen counters
After touching and handling garbage cans
After coughing and sneezing
How to wash your hands properly
There re some basic steps that you can take to ensure your hands are actually clean. CDC (Center for Disease Prevention) has outlined a few steps, let’s look at those steps:
1. First you need to wet your hands, and, if available, always, use running water. Don’t forget to close the tap to save water. Just rinsing your hands or cleaning your hands only with water is not enough. Because water alone will not remove the dirt and microbes. Now apply soap on the wet hands, and it is not important to use anti-microbial soaps. Any plain soap would do as long as you are using it properly.
2. Lather well with the soap and rub your hands properly. This means you need to lather the back of your hands as well and nails. Microbes are present in high concentrations under the nails so they should be washed properly.
3. The twenty seconds rule. Rub your hands with soap for about 20 seconds because evidence suggests that ‘washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods.’ You don’t need to especially set a timer! Just hum along two verses of your favorite song and keep washing your hands for the duration.
4. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Because germs can easily transfer to and from wet hands. Drying your hands with a dirty towel will defeat the purpose and you might catch more germs from it.
To conclude, learn to deal with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases with a heavy hand (pun intended), and you will be setting a few barriers for the virus to keep its hands off you!