Editorial: Sanitizer Isn't A Cure: Hands Off Your Face

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 11 March 2020 17:02

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

Coronavirus is the at the forefront of everyone's mind. While the flu season in the U.S. is more impactful even with the option of a flu-shot, Coronavirus is a new threat with a lot of unknown potential impacts.

Been to the store lately? If so, you'll notice visible sections of the hygiene and cleaning product areas have empty sections on the shelves. Lysol disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, tissues, and other items. Soap - on the other hand - is still available with a healthy supply of antimicrobial options.

While hand sanitizer and   91% alcohol are hot commodities (largely vacant on store shelves), soap is your best bet when combating any virus. In terms of alcohol, the ABC Store in Carolina Beach recently ran out of Ever Clear, but received a shipment on Tuesday. Ever Clear of any alcohol content  ranges from 60% to 95% alcohol content which is a sufficient level to make homemade hand sanitizer with aloe gel for a thick version or fresh aloe that will result in a thin version that has to be used in spray bottles. The aloe serves to moisturize your skin since alcohol dries out the skin.

Demand for commercial sanitizer has resulted in some weird situations. For example, at the Publix in Carolina Beach earlier this week, staff had to move the complimentary hand sanitizer wipe dispensers from the entrance to right in front of the customer service desk. Why? Because someone opened the side door on that dispenser and tried to remove the large container and exit the store.  They were caught. 

People are stocking up on toilet paper leaving many shelves bare. However, Dollar stores typically have ample supplies verses other major chain stores.

Bottom line: All of these products will help prevent you from spreading germs, but consider this, if you use hand sanitizer before entering the store, pick up something that someone sneezed on prior to your visit, you touch that item, and then touch your face (eyes, nose), none of your precautions will make a difference. Not just for Coronavirus, but for the common cold, the flu and any number of other community spread illnesses.

It's important to wash your hands, but ultimately more important to not consider that a cure-all. The best defense is to not touch your face. Period. Practice it.

As for face masks, they serve to stop you from touching your face but aren't a 100% shield against all germs because, if you don't wash your hands, take the mask off and then rub your eyes, nose or mouth, well, you get the snotty picture...

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