I never thought I would live to see the day where household cleaning supplies were a hot commodity.
People are strange. Over the course of my life I have seen that fact demonstrated in numerous ways, none of which even come close to the behavior displayed throughout the course of this pandemic.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) began dominating the news cycle, there has been an incredible and mystifying trend of hoarding. First, it was hand sanitizer. After every known bottle of hand sanitizer had been purchased, the hoarding shifted to lysol wipes and then finally crescendoed into toilet paper. Yes, you heard me correctly. People are now hoarding and in some cases even FIGHTING over toiler paper. Surely, the end of the world is near.
It has been more than two months since the buying frenzy on household cleaning supplies began and the most in-demand items show no signs of returning to shelves anytime soon. One quick search on Amazon and you will see that inventory status for any lysol product reads "Currently unavailable. We don't know WHEN or IF this item will be back in stock." Seriously. The entire world is sold out of Lysol. Every single Lysol product ever made.
SO what is all the fuss about hand washing? And how is it related to COVID-19?
Statement from the CDC:
CDC recommendations reflect the important role of hand hygiene for preventing the transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings for a wide range of pathogens. The ability of hand hygiene, including hand washing or the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers to prevent infections is related to reductions in the number of viable pathogens that transiently contaminate the hands. Hand washing mechanically removes pathogens, while laboratory data demonstrate that 60% ethanol and 70% isopropanol, the active ingredients in CDC-recommended alcohol-based hand sanitizers, inactivates viruses that are generally related to, and with similar physical properties as, the 2019-nCoV
As of March 29th COVID-19 has been identified and confirmed in over 160 countries and the WHO put out their own instructions and education on the importance of hand washing.
According to The World Health Organization (WHO) "Hand hygiene is therefore the most important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful germs and prevent health-care associated infections." The WHO believes that the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is the best alternative in the absence of being able to wash your hands and can even be more beneficial than regular hand soap if your hands aren't covered in dirt. If they are then it is best to find a sink and start scrubbing!
"Clean you hands by rubbing them with an alcohol-based formulation, as the preferred mean for routine hygienic hand antisepsis if hands are not visibly soiled. It is faster, more effective, and better tolerated by your hands than washing with soap and water" (WHO Website)
When SHOULD You Wash Your Hands??
However obvious it may seem, here are the times when you should absolutely wash your hands.
- Before and after going to the bathroom (hand sanitizer can be useful in this situation, especially if you aren't home)
- After blowing your nose
- After contact with surfaces (touching elevator buttons, doorknobs etc.)
- Before and after you eat or handle food.
- After handling money
- BEFORE YOU TOUCH YOUR FACE (the is the MOST important one)
What does this all mean?It could not be more clear how critical maintaining proper hygiene is if you want to give yourself the best chance to ward off the coronavirus and flatten the curve, you must be hyper vigilant and follow the guidelines.
DIY Hand Sanitizer: 2 Oz
- 99% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Essential Oils (optional)
- Mixing bowl & spoon
- small bottle or sprayer ( to dispense the sanitizer)
Add the correct amounts of both ingredients to the mixing bowl and lightly stir with a spoon until you are satisfied it has mixed well.
Once you have a final product, pour it into your preferred bottle and use generously!