Coronavirus: Call for 10000s more hand washing stations in public places
Face masks are largely ineffective, just concentrate on personal hygiene
With Coronavirus spreading globally from the outbreak in China, we desperately need more places to wash our hands to keep ourselves protected.
That’s the opinion of both healthcare experts and a national health and safety software company, who agree that there needs to be more hand washing stations in public places such as libraries, shops and restaurants.
UK based Protecting.co.uk knows that the best way to protect yourself from Coronavirus, or any virus, is to maintain good personal hygiene – and not to waste your money on wearing an ineffective face mask.
“We are being shown so many ways to protect ourselves from the Covid-19 virus,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall, “But the truth of it all is that face masks are pretty useless, people just need to make sure they are washing their hands more.”
How often should we be washing our hands?
According to Protecting.co.uk, as a nation we are not washing our hands nearly enough.
“We all know the basics, wash your hands when you’ve used the toilet, wash them before you eat, but that’s just simply not enough in a virus emergency” says spokesperson Mark Hall.
“You need to make sure you are washing your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
“Your hands are a breeding ground for germs, washing them regularly will stop you from spreading bacteria to other people and all over surfaces such as door handles and bannisters. “
That’s why we’re calling for more hand-washing stations in public places.
Cosmetic chain Lush has responded to the Coronavirus outbreak by letting the public come in and wash their hands for free, with no obligation to make a purchase.
Mark Hall agrees: “This is exactly what we need. At the end of the day, an alcohol-based hand rub will do the trick in a pinch, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned scrub with soap and water – and we need more places to do this.”
Face masks – what’s the big deal?
So why do many people think that face masks will keep the virus at bay? As Doctor Hilary Jones said on ITV’s Lorraine last week, they are only really there for psychological protection.
Most people will think they are protecting themselves and others by physically wearing something that says “I’m doing my bit!”
Worse, most people who use face masks are using them incorrectly. If our telephone poll of 1250 people is anything to go by, a staggering 75% of people didn’t know that you couldn’t reuse a surgical face mask.
Once a face mask is removed, it encounters germy surfaces such as tables, only to be touched again with dirty hands.
“You’d be surprised how germy a face mask can get, especially if it’s being reused in public spaces,” says Hall, “Most people will only buy cheap ones, too.
“People wear them incorrectly, upside down and inside out. How is that going to protect you?”
Think you know how to wash your hands? Think again.
This is where hand washing techniques come into practice. Good hand-washing halts germs in their tracks, and just a waft under the cold tap isn’t good enough.
Hand washing seems like the simplest thing, but few people know how to do it properly.
Ilkley-based chef Grandpa Nichols told us: “Hand-washing is absolutely essential, both for food safety and in the wider world of personal hygiene. I wash my hands thoroughly and regularly, and we have had no problems with sickness or contamination.”
The NHS has published this easy-to-follow guidance:
• Wet your hands first with water, then apply enough soap to cover your hands
• Rub your hands together, using one hand to rub the back of the other hand. Make sure you clean between the fingers. Repeat for the other hand.
• Rub your hands together and between your fingers again, then rub the backs of your fingers against your palms
• Rub your thumb using your other hand. Repeat for the other thumb.
• Rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand. Repeat for the other hand.
• Rinse thoroughly with water, then dry hands completely with a disposable towel
• Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap
Mark Hall says that Protecting.co.uk recommends that the optimum length for washing your hands is at least twenty seconds, “Or just sing happy birthday to yourself twice over in your head, that should do the trick.
“Even if it’s not your birthday.”