How many things do you touch every day or even every hour?
With COVID-19 on the rise in our community, local health leaders say we need to start thinking about where our hands go.
The camera followed WINK News’ Health and Medical Reporter Veronica Marshall all day long to see what we’re doing right or wrong when it comes to exposure to germs.
Veronica’s day began as it does for a lot of people: catching up on emails and making phone calls.
According to Dr. Stephanie Stovall, the medical director for pediatric infection prevention and epidemiology at Lee Health, that meant she wasn’t off to the cleanest start.
“There’s the dreaded phone that we touch and we rarely wipe off,” Stovall said. “Many of us eat near our laptop, we live near our laptop, we even use our phone in front of our laptop, so you’re going to get germs on your laptop.”
The solution—give them a good wipe-down at least once a week.
However, there are some germ-fighting benefits to using your cell phone and other technologies like virtual meetings to allow for social distancing.
“It really does minimize the risk of someone coughing before they realize that they’re sick and they need to stay home, or touching something that hasn’t been decontaminated or cleaned. In those situations, the more we can have social distancing, the better, as far as transmitting disease,” she said.
When it came time to hit the road in the company car, it took a turn for the wors. That lesson isn’t just for Veronica but for anyone who uses public transit.
“Not only have you inoculated yourself by touching your eyes and near your nose from whatever you’ve picked up, the next time you touch something like your steering wheel, you’re sending your germs to someone else who checks out the car after you,” Stovall said.
When it comes to gas pumps, get your hand sanitizer ready. One study found that more than 70% of pumps are highly contaminated.
While opting for some fast food may not be the healthiest choice, what Veronica did next before she ate was.
“Look at that! You’re doing good hand hygiene and you’ve paid attention to your thumb,” said Stovall. “A lot of people forget the thumb, and so the thumb doesn’t get washed very often. They also forget the backs of their hands, and it looks like you’ve done appropriate technique there.”
After lunch, Veronica’s social distancing skills came into question, but Stovall says when it comes to co-workers, common sense can go a long way.
In addition, when it comes to kids, Stovall says when we pick up or play with our kids, we’re generally not thinking about exposure, but it is something we should keep in mind. Just make sure you’re washing your hands before and after.