What Is Cosmic Greeting? How It Can Help Prevent COVID-19
With physical distancing being a priority to stop or slow the COVID-19 outbreak, people are advised to avoid handshakes.
A cosmic greeting is a fist bump, handshake or greeting where people can greet each other, without contact, by gesturing a fist bump, handshake, hi-five greeting with someone else. This is one of the safest greetings during this intense period of social distancing.
The truth is, we often take for granted how dirty our hands or the places we touch are.
This article will give you some insights into basic hand hygiene that we may have overlooked so we can keep ourselves safe and our surroundings clean. There are some shocking finds that will make you extra vigilant next time you choose to step outside your house!
The Global Pandemic & Personal Hygiene
The unprecedented and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus across the globe has become a wakeup call for billions of people. Due to the COVID-19, attention is now focused on being wary of who we are with at close range, what we touch and how thorough we are in making a genuine effort to keep ourselves virus-free. It can save lives!
Personal hygiene to prevent the spread of germs, bacteria & virus takes more than just running our hands under water for 10 secs. It’s a battle for not only our own health and well-being but those we love as well. Certainly not something that should be taken lightly.
“How dirty are our hands?”
In a recent investigative documentary by Channel News Asia, they delved deep to uncover the truth to this question and unearthed answers to some crucial questions about our hands. It shed light on how our hands are a potential transmission source for diseases which could cause respiratory illnesses or diarrhea and as we have seen in COVID-19 cases, death.
During the above documentary, shocking revelations were made regarding some of the most dirty and bacteria infested everyday surfaces we touch. Some already have a reputation for being dirty such as money, shopping trolleys and mobile phones. Two of the dirtiest surfaces they found were soap dispenser buttons and food trays from food courts, with soap dispenser buttons having the most harmful bacteria! These are places many of us don’t spare much thought when we touch them.
The documentary also interviewed and tested the hands of a regular Singaporean family consisting of mom, dad, son and grandma. It was found that the person who touched the most surfaces in a 6 hour period had the dirtiest hands. Watch the video to find out who!
It is crucial to understand and comprehend the stakes and do our part in preventing this epidemic from escalating further than it already has. We need to take the necessary precautions to ensure our own health, safety and those around you.
How do we contract viral diseases?
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone wants to know what preventive measures can be taken so they can stay safe, healthy and virus free.
It is vital to understand how patients of such diseases contract them in the first place.
1. Patients could have come into close proximity with other infected individuals.
2. Patients might have been in the same area as infected individuals and contracted the disease through respiratory droplets produced by sneezing, coughing or talking with the infected.
3. Patients might have touched surfaces that infected may have come into contact with and left their virus on. They then proceeded to touch their face where there are four entry points for the virus to infect the patient (mouth, ears, nose, eyes). These are all gateways to bacteria entering your body. Mythbusters conducted a social experiment which showed how easily we can contaminate each other.
What is the most effective way to prevent disease transimission?
The single most effective method to make sure that you do not contract any disease is by ensuring you cut off the virus’s easiest and most common medium of transmission – Our Hands. So we need to know what is the most effective way to clean our hands. The CNA documentary also conducted an experiment with three kids about the same age and size, played in the same playground, and washed their hands following a prescribed set of steps. The only difference was the three different agents: vodka, water with anti-bacterial soap, water with regular hand soap.
After testing the three different sets of hands, it was found that anti-bacterial soap doesn’t live up to the hype. It only cleaned very slightly better than regular soap. It was conclusive that anti-bacterial soaps are not worth paying the 2X, 3X price of regular soaps for that little difference in cleaning.
Just washing you hands thoroughly in the WHO prescribed set of steps with water and soap is sufficient. The hand washing steps introduces friction in the cleaning action, just like how scrubbing is effective in removing stubborn stains in clothing, floors. We will touch on this again later.
What was evident also, and somewhat surprising, was that vodka was very effective in cleaning hands by a huge margin. It showed that the alcohol content in vodka was the ingredient that did the trick.
Use Hand Sanitiser
In case there is no nearby source of water and soap, simply rub your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser in hand washing action till it dries out. It is best to use a 70% alcohol- based hand sanitiser as alcohol has strong and potent anti-microbial activities that kill germs. Hand sanitisers must be given time to work, that is why it must be left to dry naturally.
Hand sanitisers are perfect to carry around and takes up little to no space in your handbag or pocket.
Surely paying for a bottle of hand sanitiser beats spending thousands on medical fees. Don’t belittle the mighty use of a trusty hand sanitiser. They are helpful when you are out shopping at a mall, commuting, start or finish a meal outside the home.
Disinfect Devices and Surfaces
Due to enforced social distancing and work from home policies, we use our devices and gadgets at home a lot more than previous norms. We should institute a regime of regular wipe down with disinfectant or wipes on our computer keyboards and mouse, handphones, remote controls, toilet flush buttons, light switches etc.
It is essential to wash our hands regularly and consistently throughout the day to keep your hands free of germs, even in the home , simply because of the many surfaces that we touch throughout the day.
Avoid Touching Face, Mouth & Eyes
Watch this funny video of a health official making a serious announcement recommending measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 which included not to touching faces, eyes and mouths. To turn the pages of her script, guess what she instinctively did?
An infection control expert at the University of New South Wales carried out an investigation with her colleagues and found that students touched their faces at a scary average of 23 times an hour. So it may sound like a simple and easy instruction but it is much more daunting than it seems.
Wash Your Hands With Water & Soap
Something so simple yet so effective. Washing your hands with soap and water can efficiently kill any germs or bacteria lingering on our hands thus preventing bacterial and infection transmission. Read the story of how this was discovered in 1846 by a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Semmelweis discovered what is still relevant to us today: Hand-washing is one of the most essential tools in public health. It can prevent transmission of the flu virus, prevent the spread of disease and slow transmission of infections.
It is quite common for people to find proper hand washing troublesome and cut corners by running their hands under the tap for a less than 10 seconds obligatory rinse without using any soap. This is ineffective and can possibly put the individual at high risk of contracting a disease or food poisoning.
For the most efficient method prescribed by WHO, wet your hands with water and lather your hands with soap. Thoroughly scrub your hands in this set of prescribed steps for THIRTY seconds because the friction is crucial in getting rid of the germs by ensuring chemical contact. After thirty seconds of hand scrubbing, rinse your hands under water and dry them. This video shows how the WHO prescribed steps are effective in ensuring all parts of both hands are thoroughly covered in the cleaning.
Use Natural Hand Wash & Moisturisers To Prevent Dry Skin
Emu Tracks Liquid Hand & Body Wash is able to simultaneously cleanse and nourish while preserving the skin’s natural protective oils. Unlike any other hand wash, it is gentle enough for all day, regular hand washing without drying out our skin. It is specially formulated for use on dry and sensitive skin which are most at risk of eczema and itchy skin.
It is free of Sulphate(SLS), Petrochemicals, Silicone, Ethoxylate, Paraben & PEG and contains no artificial fragrance or colouring.
In addition, the antibacterial properties of Eucalyptus in the Hand Wash are combined with soothing, moisturising Emu Oil, Shea Butter and Lavender, resulting in naturally soft, smooth skin.
Moisturise hands immediately after washing with pure and natural Emu Oil will help to lock in the moisture. It easily penetrates skin to deliver the natural nourishing and healing properties of emu oil, being a rich source of omega 3,6,9.
For a natural and herbal remedy to prevent dry skin, apply Down To Earth’s South African Potato Cream. It has natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties to hydrate and protect skin.