Does Wearing Gloves Protect You From Getting Coronavirus?

As the coronavirus outbreak started in January it has grown around the globe today. Countries throughout the world are implementing different measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, from state quarantines to school closures. There are curfews, restrictions, and multiple forms of lockdown all over the world.

COVID-19 usually causes mild infections, similar to the common cold, and estimates to 10–30% of upper respiratory tract infections in grown-ups. Moreover, severe infections are limited, although coronaviruses can cause neurological and enteric diseases. The incubation time of a coronavirus varies but is usually up to two weeks.

This pandemic has reshaped our lives as we all know it. Many of us are staying at home, avoiding people, and changing our everyday habits, like going to work or school, in ways we never thought. While we are transforming from old behaviors, there are also some new routines that we need to choose. The very first is the habit of using a mask or covering our face whenever we go into a public place.

Based on our previous work in outbreaks of infectious diseases, we all understand how critical is the role of clear and consistent messages about what people can do to guard themselves against this pandemic. By that measure, the messaging on masks and gloves has become complicated. This was encouraged by the longstanding perception that standard surgical masks also known as medical masks are inadequate to defend the wearer from many respiratory pathogens.

 

COVID-19 Spreads Mainly in the Air

The virus that causes COVID-19 largely spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets, when an infected person sneezes or coughs. This usually occurs when the people are within 6 feet of one another. Another way regarding how you can get this virus is when you touch the contaminated surfaces, like whenever you touch a surface that has the virus on it and later touch your mouth, eyes, or nose, you would possibly expose yourself to the virus.

 

Should We Wear Gloves to Protect Ourselves?

One major argument against gloves, masks, and other types of protective equipment that are being used by the global public is that it could lead to people becoming proud & arrogant and not following the other lockdown directions like hand washing and physical distancing, etc. Also, putting a pair of used gloves back on after you have washed your hands is not very simple, they usually get sweaty, become inside-out and while trying to put them back on, you are spreading what was on the outside of them, to your hands anyway. 

People today must learn how to use gloves properly to protect themselves and others. This may sound absurd to several people, but you just can't put them on and then you are protected, unfortunately, it’s not that simple, at all. Just take an example of stop touching your face! this was an earlier spread message. Several of us, reasonably, strived with this and likely still do. It’s just a thing we weird people do now and then, not deliberately, of course, most of us do these things without even realizing. So, if you touch your face with gloves on - you will just transfer everything that you’ve touched with those gloves, on to your face.

In an ideal situation, everyone wearing gloves around would work and help protect people, but in reality, it could even make things more critical. As that frequent use of hand sanitizer after any work where people often touch the stuff or something at risk from outside, and enhanced cleaning would be preferable. Gloves, much similar to masks, only work if they are used appropriately including taking them on and osff. Handing out gloves anywhere or reusing them, again and again, may turn out to be a far worse idea than it originally seems. Disposable gloves are not meant to be washed as you wash your hands. As soon as they get dirty or sloppy they should be thrown away and replaced. 

 

Who Should Wear Gloves

People who are looking after someone that is infected with Covid-19 should use disposable gloves while clearing surfaces, rinsing dishes, and washing clothes for a sick person. When you get in direct contact with an infected person, you’re directly exposed to more risk of getting the virus. If gloves are not available at that time, you should immediately clean your hands after touching a sick person’s dishes or clothing. 

Keeping in mind the deficiency of these essential personal protective equipment, such as face masks and N95 respirators, you should continue to sanitize surfaces that you have touched with gloved hands, such as your counters, doorknobs, and more. While gloves aren’t a need at this point, the general population should surely be using that one thing which is more important than gloves to prevent the spread of Covid-19 i.e. a face covering.

 

When to Use Gloves

  • You should use gloves while cleaning and disinfecting or providing care to someone who is sick and infected. Use disposable gloves when disinfecting the area around the person who is sick or any other surfaces that are commonly touched in the home.
  • Use disposable gloves while touching or getting in contact with stool, blood, and other body fluids, such as saliva, vomit, mucus, and urine.
  • After using gloves, throw them in a trash can. Do not reuse your gloves.

 

When Gloves aren’t Needed

 

  • Using gloves while using a shopping cart or using an ATM will not significantly protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs.
  • The most reliable way to protect yourself from germs when managing tasks is to regularly clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

 

Final Verdict

Wearing gloves does not directly defend against the spread of the virus. COVID-19 primarily spread through the small drops of moisture that are released when a person affected with COVID-19 talks, coughs, or sneezes. These drops can settle on the faces of people, surfaces, and items nearby. 

Using gloves is not as effective as 20 seconds of handwashing with soap and water, but they can help you from touching an infected surface or item with your bare hands. Gloves can only prevent infection if you don’t touch your face with your gloved hands. It is more important to remember not to touch any surfaces and items if you are wearing gloves to avoid contaminating surfaces which further leads to the spread of COVID-19 to more people. 

The major problem with gloves is that they create a feeling deep within us of self-protection. When people wear gloves, they feel more protected and are likely to wear gloves for longer than they should be and perform less hand hygiene than they should.

Experts agree that hand washing remains important, despite whether or not you wear gloves when you travel outside. Whether you use gloves or your hand, you will contaminate the part that's touched— it could be your fingers, or it could be the glove. Washing your hands is the most effective protective measure against spreading germs because everyone understands that the soap has special properties to break up the virus very effectively.

Some points to consider regarding the usage of gloves during this pandemic:

  • Wear gloves while cleaning
  • Wash your hands before and after wearing gloves
  • Wear gloves when taking care of a sick person
  • Do not hurriedly remove your gloves
  • Don’t choose the wrong gloves
  • Don’t touch your face while wearing gloves
Don’t forget about your hygiene
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