Think the Pandemic Is Over? Think Again (And Don’t Throw Away Your Hand Sanitizer)
Widespread riots, groundbreaking activism, a public health crisis—this spring has been eventful to say the least.
And though summer is upon us, we can’t put the coronavirus pandemic behind us just yet.
Yes, many people are distracted by other things. The pandemic has, in some ways, taken a backseat to the—admittedly—important social justice issues taking root.
But here’s the verdict: when you’re out and about, you still need to pay attention and keep your hands clean.
Stock Up on Disinfecting Hand Sanitizing Wipes
We at Germ Shark urge you to keep COVID-19 top of mind.
The truth is that as of June 10, 2020, up to 1,000 Americans were still dying from the coronavirus each day. The federal government has simply become much more quiet on the subject, as officials worry it could affect things politically.
The coronavirus task force, which previously sent daily updates to U.S. states, has been much less consistent in its approach. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been giving fewer briefings than in recent months, instead encouraging state leaders to issue their own.
Ultimately, while the government has been much less vocal about the pandemic, we should still be vigilant and keep travel hand sanitizer on our person. On June 9, renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the coronavirus is “not close to over yet.”
In fact, it’s trending to be just as serious now as it was during lockdown. And while state restrictions are loosening, and jurisdictions are slowly reopening, we shouldn’t act like the pandemic has come to an end. The data shows it hasn’t.
The CDC revealed on June 15 that U.S. cases were approaching 2.09 million—and that there have been upwards of 115,000 deaths from COVID-19 here in the United States.
With that, we urge you to continue washing your hands. To avoid touching your face, and to continue taking every precaution against the novel coronavirus.
We Can Expect a Surge of Cases in the Fall
In 1918, an influenza pandemic known as the “Spanish flu” swept through Spain, Great Britain, France, and Italy. It wreaked havoc on European militaries during World War I and killed more than 50 million people from across the globe.
What can we learn from this—aside from the fact that pandemics are debilitating, and rife with significant socioeconomic consequences and serious health concerns?
Here’s something to consider: The Spanish flu had what is known as a “W-trend” or “W-curve,” meaning there were two spikes of the disease. The infection impacted various age groups in different ways and was therefore fairly difficult to monitor.
The coronavirus is revealing certain parallels, and there may well be a new surge of cases in the fall and winter. This, combined with the flu season, could have dire consequences. The second wave of the Spanish flu revealed new strains, new clusters of lethal symptoms, and enough new cases to leave governments and public health officials reeling.
So what can we do to mitigate a similar W-trend of the coronavirus come autumn? Carrying travel or mini hand sanitizer is a great place to start. We must also continue to maintain social distancing when possible, and stay at home if we feel sick (unless it’s an emergency).
The disinfection and sanitization of public spaces will remain vital as well. We can all do our part to help flatten the curve, and we can make good headway by keeping our hands clean.
Temperatures Are Rising—and Fewer People Are Wearing Masks
With summer here, the warmer weather and prevalence of outdoor recreation have prompted fewer people to wear masks.
At the same time, social distancing has diminished with protests in cities across the country. People are gathering in large crowds (albeit admirably, to fight against racial discrimination and police brutality), and businesses are opening up again.
People have to be mindful, though, that the pandemic is still a viable threat. We aren’t yet safe from the coronavirus, and we must keep masks on hand.
Admittedly, masks present issues of their own in extreme heat. But moving forward, it’s best to continue to be mindful of COVID-19.
When you are exercising, alone with family, in your vehicle, or with a small group of friends away from other people, a southern Pennsylvania doctor explains, you don’t need to wear a mask.
In indoor spaces, however, or in close proximity to people outside your household, you really should wear a cloth face covering. Be sure to wash the face covering regularly during the summer months especially, and try to keep hydrated as temperatures climb. And of course, don’t forget your travel hand sanitizer.
Assess the COVID-19 Risks You Face
We’ve mentioned a couple of times in this article that businesses across the country are reopening—not necessarily at full capacity, but they’re gradually inviting patrons back inside. And so now it’s up to the public in many cases, rather than the government, to determine what risks are worth taking.
But how can we understand the risks we face? Several healthcare practitioners have expressed that a person’s risk of contracting the coronavirus can be assessed based on five factors:
- Whether the business or activity is indoors or outdoors
- Proximity to other people outside your household
- Exposure time to other people and objects or surfaces that may contain the virus
- Likelihood of compliance with social distancing and sanitizing measures
- Personal risk level
Outdoor activities are typically safer than indoor ones—a person is less likely to contract the virus by passing someone on a trail than they are sitting in an enclosed space with an infected individual for hours on end.
Here are some of the environments and activities that present the greatest risk:
- Concerts and festivals
- Sporting events
- Amusement parks
- Public pools
- Restaurants with indoor seating
- Hair salons
- Movie theaters
Now, this isn’t to say that you’ll definitely contract the virus by visiting one of the abovementioned places—or that you won’t contract the virus by engaging in an activity that isn’t listed here. These environments are simply riskier than others, according to physicians.
So again, we recommend that you be careful. We suggest you wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face, all while practicing social distancing and assuming that anyone you come in contact with may test positive for the virus.
Hand Sanitizer Remains Paramount
Regardless of your own personal beliefs on whether the coronavirus pandemic is still a big deal, hand sanitizing is important. We think anyone could benefit by following hand sanitizing best practices.
From here on out, experts recommend using disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on surfaces in your home (think door handles, faucets, tables, and countertops), and carrying hand sanitizer with you when you visit public places.
And in closing, we at Germ Shark are here to help with your travel hand sanitizer, mini hand sanitizer, and disinfecting hand sanitizing wipe needs. An added bonus: every purchase you make will help others as a result of our Buy 1 Give 1 Bottle donation program.
Have questions about what we do, or about keeping your hands clean? Please contact us for more information.