The Corona virus has everyone on their toes and on high alert. I live in Australia and we have had a wave of panic buying toilet paper which is bizarre because the corona virus is a respiratory virus and not a gastrointestinal virus . So I am still confused by the urgency of Aussies to stock up on toilet paper during this pandemic. The World Health Organisation has declared the COVID19 an International epidemic and the advice from all the experts are wash your hands and don’t touch your face. Sounds too simple, or is there more to it?
How is the virus spread?
The Corona virus is spread by vapor droplets when someone sneeze or cough in close vicinity of you or if the droplets land on a surface and you touch the surface and then you touch your face. The mucous membranes of the eyes and nose and mouth especially can be point of entry.
It is surprisingly how often we actually touch our faces during a day by rubbing our eyes or nose or touching your mouth. Most of the time we aren’t even aware that we are doing it.
So how can you protect yourself?
Wash your hands, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, don’t stand to close to others that are coughing or sneezing.
Sounds like advice that we would give during a normal flu- season.
Surely everyone knows how to wash their hands.
But do they?
I have two teenage boys and they are twins actually and I have noticed that they have very different approaches to washing of hands. The one is very thorough and the other one is barely touching both the soap and the water really.
Why does it matter to wash well with soap?
So viruses need a host to multiply but viruses are tough enough to be active outside a host for quite a while. Researchers are still trying to figure out how long and how resilient the virus is. They do reckon it can stay on metal surfaces for a few days. Let’s say you touch a doorknob, light switch, railing at the train station well you get my drift – you touch a surface that has the virus on and then you touch your face you can transfer the virus that way.
Washing your hands properly not only keeps you safe but also keep you from transmitting it to others. Proper hand washing advised by the World health organization is done by wetting your hands with running water, lathering up with soap, washing for about 20 seconds and that is all the areas, between the fingers, underneath the nails, the top of the hand. Then after that rinse and dry
It matters because it removes pathogens from your skin but more than that soap can incapacitate the virus’s outer envelope. The fatty substances of the soap molecules interact with the fatty substances from the envelop and the virus is then unable to infect human cells. The combination of lathering , scrubbing ( the push pull of the soap and pathogens) and then rinsing is all valuable components in simple hand washing.
What soap should I buy?
Well according to the experts the good old bar soap is real effective because it has a higher fat content than liquid soap and there is a lot to choose from out there. You do not need anti-bacterial soap really because we are not dealing with a bacteria during COVID19. Here is a link if you want to check out and order some bar soaps.
That being said though I know my family prefers liquid soaps and in a way I prefer them using liquid soap as well because they make less of a mess and it looks a bit cleaner in the bathroom as well. Also I know one pump gives them enough soap to get the job done properly. So, if you prefer liquid soap then check out some great liquid soaps.
What about hand – sanitizers?
Soap dismantles the envelope while alcohol based hand sanitizers change the chemical properties and thereby making the envelop less stable.
With hand sanitizers flying off the shelves in the shops here I do see a number of diy hand sanitzer recipes online but the Centre for Disease Control recommend that you use a product with at least 60 % alcohol. Now to clarify the alcohol means ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. A lot of these recipes simply uses vodka as their alcohol base which makes it not as effective on the Corona virus.
How to apply your hand sanitizer matters as well
Apply enough to rub all over your hands front and back and in between the fingers. You will need a fair amount because it has a job to do in the this instance when we are dealing with the Corona virus.
Hand sanitizers should not be used instead of washing your hands and if your hands are dirty then you really need to wash it to remove the dirt, bacteria and germs as well.
Click here to order some hand sanitizers. This is my affiliate link which means I get a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you.
Hand sanitizer is sold out everywhere!! What now?
So yes, you can make your own hand sanitizer.
2/3 cup of isopropyl alcohol( if you can get your hands on those)
1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
The Aloe Vera gel is a moisturizer for your skin because the alcohol can dry your skin out quite a bit.
Mix all the ingredients together and pour it into a dispenser bottle. It is completely up to you whether you want to use one with a pump or just a flip up lid.
Will it help to add a lot of drops of essential oils ?
It is really the action of the alcohol that is of benefit here when it comes to hand sanitizers. Although there are a few essential oils that has anti-viral properties, none of them has been scientifically tested on the Coronavirus.
Plenty of hand sanitizer recipes online call for a lot of antiviral oils. Less is more really and using too much essential oils can actually be quite irritating on the skin.
For the above mentioned recipe I would probably just add 5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil. You can order some Tea Tree Essential oils here.
Speaking of irritated and dry skin
If your hands are getting very dry and are cracking then you expose yourself to other pathogens. Choose a soap that is not drying and perhaps only use soap and water and not hand sanitizer at all.
But all this hand washing certainly takes it toll on our hands. Have a look at some of these hand moisturizing lotions to hydrate your hands and keep them beautiful.
Take care of you so that you can take care of those you love