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GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY

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GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY

By Alexis Vigil

Oct. 15 is reserved for annual Global Handwashing Day and will fall on a Thursday this year. Colorado is about six months into the coronavirus pandemic. So, what better year than this to observe such a day? There are some basic ways individuals can slow the spread of COVID-19 and they are simple. One way is to wear a mask and the other is to practice proper hand hygiene.  

According to globalhandwashing.org, Global Handwashing Day is “a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.”

The theme this year is “Hand Hygiene for All,” which prompts people to practice proper hand hygiene, especially with soap and water, on a universal level. Visit the website for more information on Global Handwashing Day. 

Hear from the community on the importance of hand hygiene: 

Julie Vrobel has her master’s degree in speech-language pathology and works at Pueblo InnoVage. As a healthcare worker and a member of the Pueblo community, she said, “We receive ongoing trainings regarding health and safety precautions. The absolute number one way to protect your health and the health of others is by washing your hands frequently and properly.” 

Luke Siggins is a senior media communications student at Colorado State University-Pueblo and the Rev 89 radio station manager. He said, “Hand washing is more important than it has ever been because we want to mitigate the spread of covid-19, by washing our hands we can reduce spread to our neighbors and our loved ones just by taking the time to practice simple hand hygiene.” 

Michael Garcia, a first-time mother and a CSU-P alumna, said, “In the first months of an infant’s life, it is especially important to keep hands clean all the time to avoid spreading any illness. Germs collect on our hands when we open doors, touch our phones, play with toys and change diapers. Babies are very vulnerable and can easily become sick. I can’t avoid germs, but I am able to reduce the chance of passing them to my baby by washing my hands often.”

Angela Jackson is another new mother living in Pueblo. She said she wants to protect her newborn, “(Hand hygiene) is very important to me, I don’t want anyone touching the baby without washing their hands or using hand sanitizer.” 

Review these five simple steps, established by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to wash your hands correctly: 

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when you can’t use soap and water. Rub the gel on all surfaces of your hands for at least 20 seconds and wait until hands are dry.  

For more information visit CDC.org.