To ultimately stay safe from spreading COVID-19, we may be under the impression that we need to don a mask and gloves. Many locales are mandating the wearing of face masks, but what about gloves? Do wearing gloves actually prevent COVID-19? The answer may surprise you.
Wearing gloves could actually be giving us a false sense of security. That is because we often feel as though the gloves are protecting us, so we forget that we may be spreading the germs of everything we touch all around town, or even onto our own face.
When we have gloves on, we have a tendency to feel safe from germs left on surfaces. However, to contract the virus, it needs to come into contact with mucous membranes such as touching our eyes or nose. It is not passed on through the skin. So, washing our hands seems to be the best prevention over the use of gloves. However, wearing gloves may remind us not to touch our faces.
If we choose to wear gloves, it is very important that they are worn and removed properly. The best bet is to use disposable gloves that are removed after each store or building we visit. As soon as we leave the store, the best chance we have of not spreading the germs of everything we touched while inside, is to remove the gloves and throw them away. Before entering the next store or building, put on a brand new pair of gloves. Think about how a doctor uses them during an office visit. Before examining you, the doctor will put on a brand new pair of gloves. Before leaving your exam room to examine a new patient, he or she will remove the gloves and throw them away as well as preferably wash his or her hands.
Properly remove the gloves by pinching the outside of the first glove at the wrist making sure the bare skin is left untouched. Peel the glove away from the first hand, pulling it inside out as you go being careful not to tear it. Hold the removed glove in the other gloved hand. Take care to start under the opposite wristband and remove the other glove, turning them inside out while pulling them away from your body. With the first glove inside the second glove, immediately dispose of them into a trash can. Always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately upon removing the gloves.
Latex gloves are the assumed type of glove, but what about other fabrics like wool or woven gloves? Like anything that is cloth-based, they will need to be frequently washed or scrubbed with soap and water between each use. Some try to re-use the gloves by washing them with soap or using hand sanitizer. While this may work a few times, it’s likely to break down the disposable latex material rendering them ineffective.