Even with a stay at home orders in effect for more than 80% of the US population, sooner or later you are going to need to venture out of your home and interact with other people. When you do you really should be wearing gloves and a mask. While gloves have not been suggested by the government yet, they go hand and hand with wearing a mask.
Let me start by saying that gloves like many other things are only useful when used properly. For a large percentage of the population wearing gloves is actually going to put you more at risk than not wearing them all. The reason for this is simply, you are not using them correctly!
Latex or Nitrile gloves are designed for extremely short term wear, must be put on and removed correctly, and should serve as a reminder to you not to touch things unless you absolutely have to.
Wearing gloves can actually increase your risk of catching something!
5 Reasons why YOU shouldn’t be wearing gloves
- Latex gloves can rip very easily, and are not designed for the day to day activities of general life. In most cases, you should never find yourself wearing the same set of gloves across multiple activities.
- Coronavirus is spread through droplets. Droplets travel about four or five feet when someone sneezes or coughs. In most cases, gloves won’t help with prevention of coming in contact with droplets.
- Research has shown that COVAD-19 can live on surfaces for an extended period of time. This means simply put that if your gloves come in contact with COVAD-19 it is going to stay there longer than it would if it was directly on your skin. The extended life on the gloves allows it more time to be transmitted and come in contact with your eyes, noses or mouth.
- For those individuals who are not used to wearing gloves, the majority will actually touch there face more when they have gloves on then if they didn’t have them on, to begin with. Combined with the extended life on the gloves, this only increases your chance of getting Coronavirus.
- Gloves can provide you with a false sense of security, resulting in you having more contact with people and objects then you otherwise would have if you did not have them on.
If you are going to wear gloves, then use them correctly!
- Do not wear Latex gloves! Around 6% of the US population is allergic to latex. Thats right more people in the country are allergic to latex then will die from Coronavirus, and for some of those individuals, any contact with latex will result in the need for immediate medical care.
- You need to carry multiple pairs with you. At no point should you be wearing the same pair of gloves for more than around 10 – 15 minutes (except in a few rare occurrences). Generally speaking every time you change activities you should also be changing your gloves.
- When removing your gloves it is absolutely essential that your bare skin does not come in contact with the exterior of the glove. As soon as this occurs you have defeated the entire reason for wearing gloves, to begin with. This is a skill that actually takes practice if you are not used to wearing gloves every day. Additionally, when you remove your gloves, they should go directly into a trash can.
- DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS GOING IN YOUR MOUTH. You can not eat with gloves on! If your gloves touch something that is going into your mouth, then every germ on those gloves are now going into your mouth as well. Also, no picking your nose or putting your fingers in your eyes.
- Gloves do not give you the freedom to run around touching things, in fact that should serve as a reminder to you that you shouldn’t be touching things unless you absolutely have to.
How to put on gloves correctly!
- Your fingernails need to be trimmed to the skin, your fingernails will rip the gloves.
- Take the gloves out, and flatten them completely. Ensure there are no holes or rips in the gloves. This is extremely common as nitrile gloves are not very durable. DO NOT BLOW THE GLOVE UP LIKE A BALLOON!
- Insert your hands into the gloves, ensuring the wrists are rolled all the way down.
- Inspect the gloves. Ensuring they fit correctly and they have no holes in them. It should not look like your a duck and have webbed fingers, this is an indicator the gloves are too small. The gloves should be skin tight, if they are not it is an indicator the gloves you are wearing are to big.
Removing Gloves Properly
- You need to be changing your gloves often. Every surface you touch the gloves are picking up the germs from, and they are staying on the gloves. If I go out of the house for an hour, it is likely that I will go through at least three or four pairs of gloves.
- When you remove your gloves, you need to ensure that your bare skin never comes in contact with the exterior of the glove. As noted before this takes a lot of practice. One of the simplest ways to practice this is put on gloves and dip your hand in paint so both of your gloves are completely covered in paint. If you end up with paint on any of your skin, you failed and need more practice. Reference the video to the right for the proper method of removing gloves.
- Throw your gloves directly into a trash can after you take them off. Do not put them in your pocket to throw them away later.
- WASH YOUR HANDS! As soon as your hands come out of a set of gloves you should either be immediately putting on another set of gloves or washing your hands. If you do not know how to wash your hands properly check out this post on how to wash your hands correctly!