Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that hand-washing is “one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.” On Global Handwashing Day, a new survey from the CDC showed that men and younger adults aged 18-24 wash their hands less frequently throughout the day, even after being in contact with public, high-touch surfaces.
The CDC attributed this imbalance in hand-washing to a lesser concern in younger individuals about getting COVID-19 “and those without personal experience,” to the virus. People that did not know anyone who contracted or died from the virus were less likely to wash their hands.
After the survey results of 4,817 U.S. adults, the CDC recommended that health promotion strategies should focus on men and younger adults. Eight out of 10 respondents reported either washing their hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer after being in public areas. The CDC added that hand-washing is one measure you can take to curb the spread of COVID-19, and that mask use and adhering to social distancing are equally vital.
Hand-washing is a crucial way to stay healthy as Americans brace for flu season and the ongoing epidemic — and it's important to make sure you're doing it right.
Experts recommend washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (and there are many song choruses about that length to ensure the proper time). Meanwhile, the CDC lists many key times to wash hands, including before meals, after using the restroom, after touching garbage and especially after coughing or sneezing.
Dr. Mehmet Oz appeared on TODAY earlier this year and recommended paying special attention to scrubbing our fingertips. He also said back and forth twisting actions and interlocking fingers is important.
The temperature of the water does not necessarily matter, what is important is that you are getting in between fingers. Finally, making sure your hands are completely dry will prevent any bacteria from gathering in wet environments that they like.