The Importance of Handwashing

The Importance of Handwashing

Bumping elbows or giving a little wave has taken the place of a handshake during the spread of COVID-19. But you can also come in contact with the virus from touching surfaces where they live. Handwashing is a key preventive step you should take to get rid of COVID-19 and other pathogens from your skin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leaving site icon recommends that you wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

For the kid or the kid in you, that’s as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice or run through your ABCs. For the grown-ups, try a take on the chorus of an old Queen song by singing “We will, we will, wash you!” three times. Humming through the Jeopardy theme song will really get your hands clean.

If you aren’t where you can wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, the CDC advises. Cover all surfaces of your hands, including between the fingers and under the nails. Then avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Originally published 5/14/2020; Reviewed 2022