We are currently facing a global pandemic, namely Coronavirus or COVID-19. This virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. The ease with which a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary, but it is highly likely that the majority of contamination takes place on surfaces and our hands.

Given the current, challenging circumstances, we have seen an increase in the use of protective clothing such as masks and gloves. Of course, it is vital that we all have a heightened awareness of our surroundings, as well as our personal hygiene.

This may take the form of washing our hands and clothes more often, avoiding crowded public transport and, in more recent times, socially isolating ourselves to slow the spread of this disease. Gloves are being worn by many people who leave the house for essentials or to go to work, but do they truly help or hurt your risk of spreading of COVID-19? Let’s look at what is fact, and what is fiction:

FICTION: because gloves can be bought fairly easily, and they make people feel safer, everyone should wear them.

FACT: ideally, sanitary gloves should probably be reserved for the use of practicing medical professionals. They should not be reused, and they only should be used when the wearer is about to come into contact with a substance they cannot safely touch with their hands.

FICTION: wearing gloves will stop you from getting Coronavirus. According to a Glove Use Information Leaflet issued recently by the World Health Organization, “in no way does glove use modify hand hygiene indications or replace hand hygiene action by rubbing with an alcohol-based product or by handwashing with soap and water”.

FACT: wearing gloves can make you more aware of your hands, thus making you less likely to touch your face. However, this does not mean you should use them for a prolonged period of time. Ideally, the use of gloves should be kept for medical professionals, or for a short time and then disposed of.

FICTION: you can and should wear gloves at any given opportunity when you leave your home.

FACT: using gloves is, for the most part, a waste of resources and does not contribute to a reduction of cross-transmission. In fact, it may also result in missed opportunities to maintain good hygiene. In other words, wearing gloves may result in you forgetting to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, which actively works to kill the virus.

These are confusing times, and it’s not uncommon to want to search for the most effective ways of feeling protected. We’ve never encountered a virus like this one, and there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. But, by staying at home, keeping clean, and remaining cautious for the time being, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

If you are at all concerned about not being able to wash your hands as often as is suggested, be sure to keep a hand sanitizer on your person at all times. If you’re struggling to find hand sanitizer, you can find some through us here.

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