As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, most of us are taking precautionary steps to avoid contracting with the virus. As more people start to cover their faces with masks, many cannot help but wonder if they should cover their hands with a pair of gloves, too.
What do you think? Should the public wear gloves even during groceries shopping?
The answer is not recommended if they do not really understand how the virus are being transmitted and what are the things to take care of when wearing the gloves.
In fact, CDC only suggests the use of gloves in regard to the COVID-19 under 2 situations:
- If you are cleaning and disinfecting your home,
- If you are a healthcare worker treating someone who is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient.
Why it is not recommended? To answer this, first we need to understand how the coronavirus transmit.
How do coronavirus transmit?
Though we have been battling with the virus for almost 8 months now, some might still don’t quite get it right on how the coronavirus transmits.
The virus that causes the COVID-19 disease needs to enter the respiratory tract to cause the disease. The primary way it enters the respiratory tract is when people inhale infected droplets.
When people touch surfaces where the virus lives and then touch their face, the infections might happen as well.
Remember, COVID-19 does not absorb through your skin unless you touch something contaminated and then you touch your face.
Well, you might feel protected when your skin is not touching a surface, and you might think that wearing gloves during groceries shopping might reduce the chance of contracting with the virus since gloves seem to create a physical barrier between your hands and infected surfaces.
But, did you know…
Gloves do not prevent COVID-19 infection if you do not know the proper way of using them
Every PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has their function, including gloves and masks which are very precious especially during the pandemic.
Let us take mask as an example.
If one do not wear the mask properly and pulling it down by just covering their mouth or jaw, leaving the nose to breathe in and out freely in the public area, would wearing a mask effective in preventing the transmission of the coronavirus? I guess the answer is already self-explanatory.
The same idea is applicable when wearing gloves in the public area as well.
Gloves would not be able to prevent COVID-19 infection if you are touching your face and your mask with your gloved hands.
Why? Because gloves would harbor germs as well!
As there is no one glove in the world that can kill germs yet, it is important to remember that wearing gloves is not equal to a free ticket to touch your face.
In fact, as we addressed in a separate blog post, germs and bacteria are killed using sanitization, disinfection, and sterilization methods. And we do encourage you to wear gloves while performing these tasks to protect your hands.
It is more than just wearing the gloves
Healthcare workers are being trained on when and how to put on and take off their gloves and wash their hands in between each step.
When entering a patient’s room to assess the patient, they remove the gloves before leaving the room and wash their hands. They do not wear the same gloves to access the next patient.
And the way to put on and remove the gloves matter as well.
Although donning and doffing a glove seems like a simple task, but do you know that we can break down them into a few small steps to ensure the hygiene of the hands are being taken care of?
For example, we don’t encourage simply peeling off the gloves using bare hands, instead, the gloves must be taken off from the inside out to avoid contamination.
How to remove gloves?
- Grasp the outside of one of your gloves at the wrist and do not touch your bare skin
- Turn it inside out as you peel it off your hand
- Hold the dirty glove in the hand that is still covered with gloves
- Use your bare hand to reach into the inside of the other glove and turn it inside out
Remember, do not touch the outside of either glove and dispose them safely. And clean your hands immediately after removing gloves.
As one might contaminate the hands during donning and doffing the gloves, it is essential to wash hands every time before putting on and after removing the gloves.
Never let gloves give you a false sense of security. PPE is created to protect us, but it will only work well if we are using them in a right way.
That is why we always want to instill the right concept to the public rather than telling them what kind of gloves we have to serve their needs.
Getting the concept right is much more important than getting the PPE and use it wrongly.
When you plan to put on the gloves, you need to be extra careful about the hand hygiene practices, like washing your hands before putting on gloves and after removing gloves.
And remember, avoid touching your face with gloves.
Keep in mind, wearing gloves should not replace any other precaution steps that you have been taking.
We can keep ourselves and others safe by doing activities that are really impactful, such as wearing a mask properly by covering your mouth and nose when you are out in public, practice proper social distancing, wash your hands frequently with soaps and water for at least 20 seconds, and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean.
We hope you get the right concept of wearing gloves now.
And we totally understand that gloves are now in critical supply shortages, especially with the heightened number of COVID-19 cases worldwide during this time.
In the past few months, we have been getting a lot of enquiries about disposable gloves, and there is one thing that we need to clarify it here:
Get in touch with us if you’re interested in learning more about what we have to offer or would like some professional advice from one of our experts.