COVID-19 explained to young people: why is it so important to wash your hands?

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As part of the SCOOP series! on COVID-19, we are now talking about hand washing. Why is it necessary to wash your hands, especially during a pandemic? Do you think you can get sick by shaking another person's hand or touching a doorknob? Do you know how and when to wash your hands? SCOOP! explain everything to you!

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As part of our SCOOP series! on COVID-19, we are now talking about hand washing. Why do we hear everywhere that it is essential to wash your hands, and particularly during the current pandemic? Do you think you can get sick by shaking another person's hand or touching a doorknob? Do you know how to wash your hands effectively? And when? SCOOP! explain everything to you.

Are your hands as clean as you think they are?

From a young age, you have been told to wash your hands. Before eating, after going to the bathroom, before taking care of a baby, after blowing your nose or sneezing, after traveling by public transport ... In short, several actions taken on a daily basis require good hand washing, before or after. Sometimes even before AND after!

Even if your hands seem clean to you, they pick up germs everywhere you put them, without you really realizing it. During the current pandemic, you are likely to come into contact with the tiny droplets filled with germs spread by the coughs and sneezes of other infected people. Consequently, the social distancing measures (eg: staying 2 meters from each other) proposed by the government are used to avoid these contacts with germs in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, a very contagious disease, of one person to another.

In the current context, it is absolutely essential that you avoid shaking hands with anyone, in addition to refraining from touching your face. Handling objects and food also exposes you to germs and viruses, which is why you learn to wash your hands very early in your life. Because yes, good hand washing will get rid of most germs and reduce the chances of contamination and spread of different viruses and bacteria!

Wash your hands effectively

But what does effective hand washing consist of?

Here are four easy steps:

  1. Wet your hands and wrists with water.
  2. Savonne la paume, le dessus, les doigts, les ongles et les poignets pendant 20 secondes, le temps de chanter « Au clair de la lune ».
  3. Rinse your hands and wrists well under running water.
  4. Wipe yourself with a clean cloth or paper towel.

The little story of hand washing

Did you know that hand washing for hygiene purposes did not exist before 1847? Doctors have therefore been required to wash their hands in hospitals for less than 200 years. The discovery of the benefits of hand washing therefore took place under strange circumstances. Indeed, while several deliveries resulted in the death of women, Dr. Semmelweis made a finding that would change hygiene practices forever. Doctors at his hospital used to perform autopsies and deliveries on the same day without washing their hands. It was therefore the doctors themselves who infected the women, their hands soiled by particles of corpses. The following month, as soon as hand washing was made compulsory, the percentage of women who died from childbirth dropped from 30 % to 0.23 %!

You too can save lives: like doctors, wash your hands regularly and you will limit the spread of COVID-19, which is particularly dangerous for the elderly and at risk. We're counting on you!

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