Hygiene in a world with Coronavirus

Viruses have existed longer than mankind has existed, yet enough of us have survived for us to prosper.  Up until this point, viruses have not eliminated the human race, though occasionally a pandemic has wiped out a part of the population.  The good news is most of it has not occurred in our lifetimes. This is fortunate but these days with the rise of the Coronavirus we have to do our best to prevent it’s spread.  Now with the rise of this super virus, we have to do our best not to get sick.

One of the most fundamental ways we can prevent the spread of viruses is through proper handwashing methods.   One thing I can confidently say is that we may be familiar with the process of washing our hands but from what I’ve seen between public restrooms and my former massage therapy students is that most of us don’t know the exact science behind how to effectively wash your hands.  I follow the standards created by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) when it comes to hand washing. These steps are:

  1. Wet your hands with clean running water. The temperature should either be warm or cold.

  2. Apply soap to your hands then lather them by rubbing the soap.  Make sure to cover the back of your hands, between the fingers & under the nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.  If you’re not sure how long is 20 seconds then the CDC recommends you sing the “Happy Birthday song” twice from beginning to end and that should cover the 20 seconds.

  4. Rinse your hands off under clean water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer.

Handwashing is this simple and one of the most basic but effective manners of preventing the spread of viruses.  Hand sanitizer should only be used if soap and water are not available at that moment. Make sure the hand sanitizer is at least 60% alcohol by reading the label.  A hand sanitizer is only a second option at best because it has been proven not to get rid of all types of germs, pesticides, & heavy metals.  

As the virus comes closer to our city then the CDC also advises the use of medical masks.  These are effective but simple tools at filtering out the air. If you see someone in the streets with a mask on, don’t panic. In some cultures, they wear the mask as a preventative measure so they don’t get other people sick not just to prevent themselves from getting sick.

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