Updated: Apr 20, 2020
My first week of orientation in medical school included a memorable demonstration of how medical providers (and everyone else) can spread germs unknowingly. The medical faculty used three future physicians handling a clipboard which had been "contaminated" with a harmless invisible chemical agent that could be detected by its fluorescence under a black light (this, in lieu of actually using germs)!
Then all three were told to go offstage and wash their hands. When they returned a black light was shone on them and all of us in the audience could see the fluorescent 'germs' on the front of shirts, front of pants, partially up their sleeves and, sadly, still on the hands from improper hand washing.
This knowledge is power. We can be positive agents of pandemic containment, or we can be unwitting carriers (vectors) of disease. It is a choice we as individuals exercise daily. There is no single authority we can turn to for a solution. We will win by means of a majority decision to do the right thing. Pandemic containment is a brutally democratic process.
So please invest a minute and 38 seconds to watch this video on proper hand washing technique. A lesson like this may seem beneath most of us adults, but remember, med students failed this test! The video doesn't quite cover the unintended spread on clothes, but it is an essential and necessary start. Please remember to wash not only your palms, but between your fingers, around fingernails, the back of your hands, wrists and forearms.
Please also remember that when you go out in public, other areas such as clothing and shoes pick up viruses and bacteria which you then bring home to your family and also to your workplace.
If you are caring for a vulnerable individual or if you yourself are among the vulnerable, there are things you can do to reduce your risk to exposure, like this hand washing protocol, but you can do more than that to help boost your immune system and increase your overall hardiness against the virus.
We at Gesundheit Carolina can consult with you anywhere in the US via a telemedicine evaluation session with follow-up sessions, if necessary. In this process we will evaluate your risk and create a response protocol tailored to your risk profile. This pandemic hardiness consult can save a life. Inquire Here.