The only good thing about the epidemic that turned into a pandemic is the adoption of hand washing habit over the globe. A habit that should not be forgotten and the one we should stick to.
Along with social distancing and wearing mask, washing hands is what came as a result of COVID-19. Now when many people are catching cold, it is a reminder that we need to continue with the hand-washing habits adopted during the pandemic.
Why washing hands is important?
In daily routine, our hands come in contact with different surfaces which expose them to thousands of microorganisms. Though most of these are harmless or less harmful, there still is a handful number of microorganisms that are dangerous. According to studies we touch our face more than 16 times an hour with keeping in lieu hygiene. Hence the risk of transfer of germs and viruses from hand to anywhere on face is pretty high.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all over the globe have stressed repeatedly on washing hands with soap for 20 seconds or use of an alcohol based sanitizer when soap and water is unavailable. This is the first defense that we can have against the COVID-19 virus.
The proper way to wash hands
As per instruction of CDC, it is recommended to use clean running water (hot or cold) and soap. After lathering up the soap and properly rubbing the whole hand from front and back, rinse the hands to wash away all the dirt and germs. Then use a clean towel to dry your hands or you may also air dry them as wet hand welcome more germs and dust.
When to wash hands?
Before the pandemic, everyone’s hand washing habits were not up to the right mark. Washing hands twice a day was considered to be enough. Even the health care workers were not very diligent about washing hands. But nor washing hands has become necessary for survival. So when do you need to wash hands?
- The universal hand washing habit is after using a bathroom. It also helps to reduce diarrhea. Also studies have shown that coronavirus can be transferred through stool too.
- Another common hand washing habit instilled in us by our teachers and parents is before eating. Before starting any meal it is important to wash hands.
- Doctors, nurses and everyone related to medical care should wash their hands before and after treating a patient.
- For those who cook food be it at home, schools or at restaurants, it is advisable to wash hands during and after you have done cooking.
- When you enter home, the first thing to do is to wash hands. Even if you think you did not come in contact with any external surface when outside, still wash your hands for 20 seconds to be on the safe side.
- If you are sick or have flu, wash your hands after you cough, blow your nose or sneeze. This is to prevent the germs from transferring to some other surface and to avoid contamination of any kind.
- If there is a pet in your home, always wash your hands after feeding them, cleaning them and playing with them. Apart from Covid there might be hundreds of other bacteria that could enter your system through your hands.
- Always wash your hands after you take out garbage. Rinse your hand thoroughly after you disposing off the garbage and changing the bin bags.
The hand washing song
It always seems tiring to count to 20 when washing your hands. So experts have suggested that you sing happy birthday along when washing your hands. Sing the song twice till the end and there you go clean and germ free hands.
The pandemic has been hard on everyone. But let us make the best out of the worst. We all have gotten hold of the hand washing habit. Hopefully, we will get rid of the virus one day. So make sure we still cling on to this habit as it isn’t just a preventive measure for Covid but for numerous other diseases like diarrhea and cholera. Keep washing hands to stay safe and strong.