Amidst these difficult times, we have all been encouraged to do one activity more than anything else to keep ourselves safe and that is to “wash your hands”. In the past few weeks, I have seen on every medium information about hand washing: directions, soap vs. hand sanitizer, what songs to sing to get the right duration... To my chagrin, I have seen sparse content around drying hands or proper hand care, two aspects that are equally important!
Firstly the importance of drying hands after washing with soap and water is more than just for comfort, it helps combat the spread of contaminants. If we look at the typical environment that contaminants love, it’s damp and moist areas. Door handles, light switches, coffee mugs that are touched with improperly washed and improperly dried hands are perfect surfaces for contaminants to grow on.
Secondly it is important to be mindful of how many paper towels are needed to dry your hands. How many are actually needed to effectively dry? One. When done properly, it only takes a single paper towel to completely dry the surfaces of your hands. It starts with the sink: after finishing the wash simply shake and flick excess water into the sink - a few seconds should suffice (this is an effective technique regardless of what you use to dry your hands). After a little bit of shaking and flicking, areas of the hands will already start to feel somewhat dry! Next, grab a single paper towel and fold it in half. The fold will create interstitial space between the gap that will suspend water. Proceed to wipe the rest of the water off your hands and between your fingers. Remember to use the edges of the paper towel. Important to remember and note, the feeling that your hands are still wet may simply be the water that your skin has absorbed, an illusion of coolness brought on by evaporation.
Lastly, hand care is integral to protecting yourself from contaminants. Cracks and nicks on hands provide ‘portals of entry’ for contaminants, no different than getting dirt on an open cut. Heating in cold weather often dries out the hands, but so does numerous sessions of hand washing. Remember to frequently apply hand cream and moisturizers throughout the day to prevent the skin on your hands from drying out. Keep nails trimmed and filed to ensure proper hygiene and to not accidentally ‘scratch’ new portals of entry onto yourself.
We all have a responsibility to play in keeping everyone safe and healthy and it starts with yourself. Remaining vigilant and conscientious of your habits will help not only keep you safe, but also your loved ones and anyone else you may be socially isolating with.
As an organization that serves both healthcare, commercial real estate, and corporate real estate organizations we empathize deeply with what our customers are going through at this moment. We’re a technology organization, but for us people have always come first. If you need advice on where to start or how you can make the changes your organization needs to be prepared for the future, get in touch. Community is important now more than ever.