I Washed My Hands Before the Coronavirus

With all of this hysteria about the Coronavirus, there’s one thing that surprised me. Well, two. For the record, I washed my hands before this Coronavirus started. Did you know that there are people out there in the world who do NOT wash their hands? That’s just nasty. Adrienne Bailon was just slammed for admitting that she doesn’t was hands after using the bathroom. As a healthcare professional, I am constantly washing my hands because I know that this helps to prevent the spread of infection.

People have been stocking up on soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and for some strange reason, toilet paper. Shelves are empty and it has me wondering what have people been using to wash their hands and clean their homes before this? Do you know how to properly wash your hands? Do you know what to look for in a soap or hand sanitizer?

First things first. Most people who wash their hands do not wash them long enough. Follow these steps every time:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap.
  • Lather your entire hands by rubbing them together with soap. Don’t forget the inside of your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Wanna make it fun? Sing a song. A few New Orleans suggestions include: DJ Jubilee, “Get it Ready Ready,” Master P “Make ‘Em Say Ugh,” and Juvenile “Back That Thang Up.”
  • Rinse your hands well
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry

When you are buying hand soap, do you choose antibacterial soaps? According to the FDA, there isn’t enough science to show that OTC antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with soap and water. Many antibacterial liquid soaps contain benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride or chloroxylenol (PCMX). The FDA banned the use of Triclosan, so check your labels. If you have ever had surgery, then the pre-op nurse probably told you to shower with Dial soap (the yellow one). I love a good Bath & Body Works sale and I shop at TJ Maxx for most of my hand soaps. Two of the things that I look for in a hand soap are essential oils and aloe. Frequent hand washing results in dry hands. Oh, I’ll also admit that I have a Chanel bar of soap for special occasions! Do you have a favorite brand?

If hand washing is not an option, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available. You can tell how much alcohol the sanitizer contains by looking at the product label. I saw a meme the other day that said: “10% alcohol, 90% glitter.” This is NOT what you want. Again, check the labels. I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse and car. Unfortunately, there is a shortage and people are making their own. There’s a DIY recipe using 99% isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel. FYI: Tito’s Vodka should not be used. Despite this easy recipe, the recommendation is still to use soap and water.

It sounds so simple, yet so many people are not doing this!

Hand washing is one way to prevent the spread of this virus. If you are sneezing and/or coughing, use a tissue to prevent droplets from spreading and throw it away. Then wash your hands. Stay home if you are feeling sick. Contact your doctor if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

I have received tons of emails from businesses and companies about how they are handling the Coronavirus with their employees and customers. Is this reassuring?

What are you doing to protect yourself?


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