As the Covid-19 virus is still progressing, so is the safety guidelines. Initially, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public to refrain from using face masks to protect themselves. However, now facemasks and gloves are being used widely. The reason the CDC recommended against the use of face masks is because of the shortage of face masks everywhere.
Although, soon after that, the CDC recognised that fabric masks actually do help in preventing the spread of respiratory droplets, which is in fact the main way the virus spreads.
When it comes to using gloves, there have also been debates about its usage. While the CDC does not recommend wearing gloves when you’re out in public, we can see that some people are still using them. There is also a psychological aspect of using gloves as it is said: “Gloves can give people a sense of control as they try to protect themselves against an invisible pathogen”.
- Do gloves protect you from Covid-19?
- Hence, should you wear gloves or not?
- If you’re going to wear gloves, here’s how you do it the right way:
- The bottom line is…
Do gloves protect you from Covid-19?
There’s actually no solid evidence that gloves protect you from transmitting the Covid-19 virus. It is said the modern version of surgical gloves serves the purpose of preventing healthcare workers from passing an infection to their patients. Hence, gloves are much more effective at preventing you from passing the virus to others than serving the purpose of protecting you from it.
Not only that, but it is also a fact that the Covid-19 virus is spread through respiratory droplets and not through skin contact. These droplets are generated by talking, coughing, singing and sneezing, which is why social distancing has become an essential and effective practice as there is lesser exposure to the droplets of others.
Additionally, as the virus can be transferred from your nose, eyes and your mouth, health officials are always working hard to remind us to stop touching our faces. However, the fact is that you can still transfer the virus to your face even when you’re wearing gloves as you may touch contaminated surfaces with your gloves on, then go on to touch your face, eyes and your phone! Touching your face and your phone with your dirty gloves pretty much defeats the entire purpose.
Hence, should you wear gloves or not?
Seeing all the points above, gloves are not really necessary. However, if you’re a healthcare or essential worker who is required to wear them on your job, that’s a whole others store. For instance, those who work at grocery stores prefer wearing them to avoid getting cracked, dry hands from constantly sanitising their hands after each customer.
If you’re going to wear gloves, here’s how you do it the right way:
Gloves only offer you limited protection, which is if you know how to remove them the right way. The fact that most people do not know how to remove them the right way, is one of the main reasons the public is not recommended to use them.
Opts for disposable latex gloves
The gloves that are made of cotton and other fabric do not offer you additional protection and might themselves become soaked with contaminating material.
Wait until the last moment to put it on
You should always wash your hands or use some hand sanitiser with a minimum of 60% of alcohol content beforehand.
Minimize touching your face
You should reduce the frequency of touching your face while wearing gloves.
Follow CDC steps for a safe removal
When it’s time to remove your gloves, you should abide by the CDC’s step-by-step recommendation for a safe removal process. Also, on the question of whether or not you can use disposable ones, the answer to that is no.
Dispose of gloves in a trash can
Once again, reusing your gloves is a huge no-no! Hence, it is vital that you throw them in the trash.
Use hand sanitizer before touching anything else
As mentioned, use a hand sanitiser before you start touching anything else and also sanitise anything you touched with your gloved hands. For instance, things like your keys, wallet and your phone.
Most of us do not need gloves to prevent the spread of the virus, as washing your hands and using a hand sanitiser is already sufficient. Plus, the process of using it the correct way as mentioned above is too elaborate and exhausting.
If you want to be extra protected from the virus, you have to stay vigilant with the proven methods of preventing and the “new normal”. The virus is highly contagious, which means you need to maintain frequent hand hygiene and social distancing. Take the initiative to wipe down the highly touches areas in your home when you start your day. Also, respect others around you by a mask when you’re in a public place.