Wearing Gloves to Protect Yourself From COVID-19: Here’s What You Need to Know
Wearing face masks, maintaining adequate distance, and washing or sanitizing hands have been regularly reiterated by the CDC and WHO, as precautionary measures against the COVID-19 virus. People are observing these guidelines, but are sometimes spotted with an addition – the gloves. You must have seen shoppers in malls and grocery stores with gloves on, as they wheel their shopping carts around. This raises the question, are gloves also a useful tool against the infection? In this article, we will take a look at the questions surrounding the usefulness of wearing gloves as a precautionary measure.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
The novel Coronavirus is transmitted from one person to another via their respiratory droplets. When an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or exhales in close proximity of another person, these pathogens make their way to them. Another way of contracting the virus is by touching contaminated surfaces. If you touch such a surface, the viral pathogens can make their way to your mouth, nose, etc. through the hands. Although it is not the primary way of spreading the COVID-19 virus, it is still dangerous.
When to Wear Gloves:
Wearing gloves has been advised for the following activities.
Along with proper air circulation, gloves are essential for cleaning up different areas of your house. It especially important when you’re wiping and dusting the high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, desks, handles, toilets, sinks, and electronic devices and faucets. In case someone from your household has contracted the COVID-19 virus and is home-quarantined, the CDC recommends that you should equip special gloves for disinfecting and cleaning purposes.
It is also recommended that to keep your hands clean and free from germs, you should wash them with a good soap for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before wearing and after taking off the gloves.
If you are taking care of someone in your family who is unwell, it is essential that you wear gloves when handling them. Taking out the laundry, cleaning the room, etc. should be done while wearing gloves. Don’t forget to wash or sanitize your hands before and afterward.
What to Keep in Mind:
Here are some things you should be mindful of when it comes to wearing gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disposable rubber options such as medical-grade latex or nitrile gloves are safer and more comfortable to wear and remove, as compared to other non-disposable fabric gloves. Reusable gloves are also not as easy to disinfect or decontaminate.
As you touch potentially contaminated and infected spaces while wearing gloves, it is vital that you avoid touching your face. If there are any pathogens present on the gloves, they will be transferred to your face, and you run the risk of catching the infection.
Even with gloves on, you should be careful about the other personal protection precautions and practices.
How to Safely Remove Gloves
For elaborate precautions on safely removing gloves, the CDC has also published an infographic. To efficiently and safely remove gloves, you should follow these steps.
Although gloves are not as useful as the other recommended personal safety practices, when used properly, they can keep your hands safe from coming into direct contact with infected surfaces.