Keeping Yourself (and Home) Healthy Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

There has been a lot mentioned about the important and necessary precautions that we should all be taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These precautions have been mostly centered around hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water (or using hand sanitizer when you don’t happen to have soap and water readily available), and to also ensure you avoid touching your face — but what you might not be aware of are the specifics that surround these measures, which is why it’s important to remind people of them.

Hand Washing

That being said, hand washing is much more than just sticking your hands under running water for a few seconds. After dampening your hands with water (warm water is best), you should lather them together with soap — ensuring you’re covering all areas of each hand, including the backs of your hands, palms, in-between your fingers, and underneath your fingernails before scrubbing your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Once 20 seconds have gone by, you can rinse the soap off your hands and dry them by either using a clean cloth, paper towel, or air dry them. There has been science that

There are also key times as to when you should wash your hands, including after using the toilet, before, during and after you prepare food as well as after eating food, before and after treating wounds, after handing pets (and also after handing pet food and pet waste), after handling garbage, after changing diapers, after caring for someone who is sick or thought to be sick, and of course after you blow your nose, after coughing, or after sneezing.

Using Hand Sanitizer

When using hand sanitizer, you should apply a pump or two to the palm of one of your hands, rubbing them together and ensuring that the sanitizer rubbed over all surfaces of your hands, including the fingers. The sanitizer will quickly dry on its own, which typically takes around 10 to 15 seconds.

It is important to note that hand sanitizer, no matter the alcohol content, will not always necessarily get rid of every single type of germ. It also tends to be much less effective in your hands are visibly dirty or greasy (and any visible dirt/grease should always be washed off with soap and water.)

Keeping Your Home Clean

Originally published at on March 16, 2020.

Dr. Ali Ghahary is a Family Physician in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.