For the past six months, people living in different countries around the world have altered their way of living in accordance with the guidelines given by various health agencies for the prevention of coronavirus infection and further transmission. Although the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has a set of instructions for all associated concerns, people seem to be taking some extra precautions, which are often not endorsed by health experts.
While taking additional steps to ensure safety is recommended especially for those belonging to vulnerable groups such as older adults and people with existent medical conditions, some of the ways suggested and promoted especially via social media platforms make no difference.
For instance, one of the most common mistakes made by people is wearing gloves. A person who works in health care and has constant contact with people who have coronavirus or any other disease has to wear gloves as a part of the PPE or personal protective equipment. In hospital settings, the practice is fundamental for preventing the transmission of pathogens.
On the other hand, people who are not working in hospitals and health care do not have the same level of exposure to pathogens, and wearing gloves is not needed. Due to the fear of catching the coronavirus infection, many did start wearing gloves even while making normal trips to the grocery store.
The CDC actually recommends avoiding gloves while going out as the risk of catching coronavirus off objects in the grocery store is low. For contracting the virus, a person would have to be in contact with an infected object for a specific amount of time and has to touch his face afterward.
It has been observed that wearing gloves make people touch their face more often than when not wearing gloves. Additionally, people who wear gloves may also have a false feeling of security that can prevent them from following other important guidelines.
Similarly, another mistake made by the majority is avoiding certain foods or disinfecting food. A few weeks ago, research had discovered coronavirus present in some of the most widely consumed frozen foods, which made people disinfect their groceries or toss their frozen foods in the garbage.
Is this really a cause of concern? According to the very researchers who discovered it, coronavirus in frozen food is present in very small quantities. Moreover, changes in temperature occur when handling or delivering foods. This makes the virus unable to infect.
Secondly, food from takeaways or from home deliveries is also unlikely to contain or spread the coronavirus. So, there is no need for disinfecting food.
Lastly, since the beginning of the pandemic, the vast majority has turned away guests and visitors. This does not only include family and friends but also people required for house maintenance. While maintaining a distance is recommended and important, repairmen, maids and cleaners, and plumber, can be called inside the house.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci has admitted that he has people over for household help once every fortnight. As long as the person called is wearing a mask and other guidelines, the risk of the virus will remain low.