Dear Red Hot Mamas-March 2020

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: March 11, 2020

“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.”

-Publilius Syrus

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

While our beloved Italy has shut down, we have learned the infinite importance of staying healthy. It is on all of our minds as the coronavirus has swept through the world. This has become one of the greatest threats that certainly may cut many of our lives short if we are not careful. It is important to arm yourself with solid knowledge, make changes to your current lifestyle, and incorporate new routines to ward off sickness and possibly death.

Personally, I never felt I needed help with “how-to’s” and “show me-the ways” to wash my hands. But it has been helpful to have these instructions being presented all over the news these days. By washing your hands in the proper way, it may halt the spread of this virus.

Some lucky ones have been able to find hygienic hand gel. The stores in my area, however, have been out of it for weeks now. I was lucky to have a few tucked in my bathroom closet which I immediately brought out.

Since, I am married to an infectious disease doctor, he instructed me how to properly wash my hands, as well as how to use hygienic hand gel.

First, let’s tackle the handwashing. My spouse provided me information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which I would like to share with you.

1. Wet your hands with clean water. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, use whatever is comfortable for you.

2. Apply soap to your hands. Soap cleans your hands better than just using water. According to the FDA, you don’t even have to use antibacterial soap — any kind will do.

3. Rub your hands together to lather up the soap, then turn off the tap to save water.

4. Spread the lather to the backs of your hands and in between your fingers. Try to get it under your fingernails too — bonus points if you use a nail brush to remove more dirt and germs.

5. Now scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t want to count out those seconds, sing the Happy Birthday song to yourself twice without rushing through it. You can also sing the chorus these other songs or figure out how much of your favorite song to sing while doing it. The point is not to rush.

6. Rinse your hands completely with clean water.

7. Dry your hands using a clean towel or an air dryer. Some studies have shown that paper towels are more hygienic than air dryers, but most agree that drying your hands right after washing them is important to stop the spread of germs no matter how you do it.

Tip: If you’re in public restroom and have access to paper towels, use a clean towel to open the restroom door as you leave. That will shield your hands from the germs of people who left without washing their hands.

Now, let’s tackle the hand sanitizers. According to my husband, you must squirt a small amount in the palm of your hand and rub the gel all over your hands for 20 seconds making sure you cover the back and the palms of your hands evenly. He cautioned that you should not use the gel if you have any wounds on your hands and you should not dry or wipe off the sanitizer.

He also advised me to keep my nails short.

And, if you are using the disinfectant wipes, you can use these the same way, by wiping it firmly over the palms and backs of your hands for at least two seconds to disinfect your hands. You can also use the wipes to disinfect other objects around you, such as your keyboard.

Make sure that you do not dispose of the wipes or the gel in the sewer system.

Other things, important to remember: you need to keep, at hand, a thermometer. This is important especially if you suspect you have a fever which is a symptom of infection. My spouse also mentioned not to take your temperature if you have just come in from outside of the house, or if you have had food or drink, or did physical exercise within the previous 30 minutes. And to make sure that you always clean the thermometer with a disinfectant wipe to avoid the risk of infection to others.

It’s also a good idea to have disposable gloves at hand. When disposing used gloves, put it in a waste bag indicating that they may be contaminated.

These measures may be of help to you. Now, more than ever, it’s time for all of us to evaluate our health, habits and staying well goals. It takes commitment, and work to stay healthy. And certainly, during the outbreak of coronavirus worldwide we must be concerned about the impact that this is having on our health and longevity today.

Worldwide infectious disease is a major cause of death. So, don’t be shortsighted about your health. Now more than ever, be proactive about your health and the health of others around you. Pay attention to how you feel, and remember to consult with your clinician if you are feeling sick.

In closing, as you wade through the mire of information, articles and products out there, I hope that they will help you to understand the general measures you can implement to prevent illness and to stay healthy during this tumultuous time.

Good health to you all,

Karen Giblin