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Hand washing and coronavirus (COVID-19) – Insurance for Pets


Hand washing remains the first tip to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s common sense and it works. However, this must be done correctly and with soap and water. When soap and water are not available, the second best option is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Path to better health

Good hand washing not only reduces the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but it can also prevent the spread of other viral diseases such as colds and flu. Hand washing also reduces the risk of getting other easy-to-spread infections, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Seas (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

Hand washing requires five simple steps:

  • Wet: Put both hands under clean running water.
  • Foam: Apply a generous amount of soap to the inside and back of your hands and your fingertips. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday) and don’t forget to wash yourself under jewelry and nails. Your fingers are especially important because people often put their fingers on their face, nose and eyes. This is how the virus spreads.
  • Scrub: Rub both hands together and move the tips of your fingers around both hands. You don’t need a scrub brush. You don’t need to do hard scouring moves.
  • Rinse: Put both hands back into the running water and gently clean the soap.
  • Dry: Dry the water completely from your hands. It is best to use a disposable towel (paper towel) to avoid leaving germs on the towels. Air dryers, which are commonly found in public bathrooms, are also effective.

When should I wash my hands?

Hand washing throughout the day is important, but even more important during an epidemic. Remember to wash your hands in these situations:

  • On the return from a public outing (grocery, work, school, concert, sporting activity, hospital, retirement home, etc.).
  • Before leaving the bathroom – at home and in the public toilet.
  • After shaking hands during flu season and virus epidemics.
  • Before, during and after food preparation, especially raw food.
  • Before eating.
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Before and after treatment of a cut or wound.
  • After changing diapers or cleaning a child who has used the toilet.
  • After blowing your nose, cough or sneeze.
  • After touching an animal, animal food, or animal waste.
  • After handling food or pet treats.
  • After touching the garbage.
  • After putting on your shoes.
  • After using public computers, touching public tables and counters, cash and coins, other people’s phones, etc.

How long should I wash my hands?

Science has shown that washing your hands for 20 seconds is effective in killing germs. Don’t have the patience for that? Experts say washing your hands while singing Happy Birthday twice makes the experience quick and enjoyable.

When should I use a hand sanitizer?

The alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) is useful to protect against the spread of germs and viruses. However, hand washing with soap and water is always preferable. The hand sanitizer is effective when soap and water are not available. This includes public transport and it is difficult to access the toilets (plane, train, bus). Carrying a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer makes it easier to disinfect your hands in these situations. Some people use it when they sit down to eat in a restaurant. Others use it when there are crowds (games, religious service, school meetings).

Apply a generous drop of hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand and rub it on both hands, front and back, and fingertips.

Things to consider

  • It is important to use clean, running water. Never wash your hands by immersing them in a basin or a bowl of standing water. This water could contain germs that still live there. Sometimes clean running water is affected by natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.). There is always an advantage to washing your hands with soap in these situations as long as it is running water.
  • Avoid touching door handles, flush handles and faucets after washing your hands. Try using a paper towel, the sleeve of your clothes, a scarf or gloves to protect your hands and fingers from germs.
  • Do not leave hand sanitizer unattended around young children. Drinking is toxic.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What can I do if hand washing causes chapped hands?
  • What surfaces does the virus live on?
  • Isn’t hand washing ineffective if you have to touch something public immediately?
  • Does soap and water create a protective barrier or just kill germs?
  • Will frequent hand washing cause me to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Learn more at Familydoctor.org

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hand sanitizers and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Know the facts about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Resources

Centers for Disease Control: Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives