The average person touches their face about 16 times an hour. Each time this happens, we spread germs to vulnerable areas like our mouth, nose, and eyes. This is how infections and viruses, like COVID-19, travel. Touching your face can be a hard habit to break, primarily if you are covering a cough, blowing your nose, or tending to an itchy eye.
While minimizing the number of times you touch your face is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19, practicing good personal hygiene in the form of hand-washing can do wonders. Continue reading below for guidelines on how to wash your hands, sanitize properly, and disinfect your space to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy during this time.
Sing While Soaping it Up
While hand-washing guidelines list 20 seconds as the magic number for cleanliness, it is reported that many people spend less than 15 seconds washing their hands. To ensure you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, experts recommend singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice in a row. This recommendation has inspired celebrities and the general public to create humorous and educational hand-washing TikTok videos set to a beat. One of the most notable was posted by “I Will Survive” singer Gloria Gaynor, soaping it up to her own tune. All jokes aside, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds is vital to kill the virus.
Some sources recommend washing your hands with warm water, but the CDC states that temperature plays no role in the effectiveness of hand-washing. More important than the temperature of the water is how thoroughly you wash your hands. Healthcare professionals want individuals to make sure they are cleaning the back of their hands, underneath fingernails, and as far up as their wrists. These often-ignored areas can be covered with germs, which is why the CDC is offering this guide to help you visualize how to properly wash your hands.
Make Sanitizing Secondary
Experts agree that hand-washing is the most effective way to kill traces of COVID-19 but, in a pinch, sanitizer can work. The key here is to make sure the sanitizer you are using is at least 60% alcohol. Not all sanitizers fit these recommendations. Using sanitizers with lower alcohol percentages can put your health at risk.
Even if you use sanitizer while out and about, make sure to wash your hands when you return home. Sanitizers can kill germs, but to get things truly clean, washing your hands is best!
Spruce Up Your Space
Since COVID-19 can linger on surfaces for up to 4 days, it is a good idea to disinfect high traffic, high-touch areas of your living space. For most, areas of importance may include countertops, tables, door handles, electronics, and appliances.
The Center for Disease Control recommends disinfecting your household with soap or a bleach/alcohol solution. Solutions that are at least 70% bleach or alcohol are the most effective.
To best protect yourself and the general public from COVID-19, practicing all of the above is highly recommended. For more information on COVID-19, check out the following posts: