Students are more aware of hygiene habits during social distancing

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Mid-Pacific students have been paying attention to hand washing during the coronavirus epidemic.

Kenna Kaneshiro, Staff Writer

As the faucet turns on, cool water runs onto their hands and a pump of soap falls onto their palm, then it forms into a rich lather around their fingers and across their hands, finishing with the water washing away the soap. 

Several Mid-Pacific students said this basic cycle of hand washing is happening much more frequently due to the coronavirus pandemic. Students at Mid-Pacific have been more aware of their hygiene habits, including hand washing.

 

“I feel like my habits have gotten a lot better because of the virus, before I washed my hands and tried not to touch my face, but now it has a greater purpose.” said freshman Mari Muramoto.

Her family also disinfects door handles around the house frequently, she said.

Aside from social distancing, students have been regularly washing their hands, efficiently cleaning produce, and being cautious of what they touch outside of their home.

“My personal hygiene habits have changed a lot, I started to notice that I have been washing my hands more than usual along with showering twice a day,” said sophomore Eunice Han.

According to a recent article from Web MD, the COVID-19 is a type of lipid membrane, where the virus is enveloped in a layer of fat. By washing your hands the layers of fat will be broken down so the bacteria will be unable to infect you.

In a recent article from Vox, it states that in the makeup of soap, there are molecules that have a two-part nature. One side of the molecule is attracted to water, and the other to fat and proteins. By putting soap on your hands, the fat attracted side of the molecule is pulled to the fatty shell of the virus settling itself inside the fat and protein layer breaking apart the outer part of the virus.

“When it comes to my personal hygiene, one of the main actions I have been doing is washing my hands every time I come home whether I stayed in the car or went grocery shopping. I do not think I have washed my hands this much in my overall  lifestyle,” said senior Kerrin Lee.

By doing more to keep a healthy life, it has made her think twice about being cleaner and neater than ever she said.

According to data from a recent survey produced by NORC at the University of Chicago, 90 percent of Americans have increased their hand washing and following public health recommendations. 88 percent of those Americans have increased their hand washing from the worry of being infected with COVID-19.

 59 percent of Americans are resisting to touch their face, and 68 percent are avoiding crowds.

Using just water has proved to significantly drop the amount of bacteria on your hands by 8 percent, and drying hands afterwards with a dry paper towel removes more bacteria than just hand washing alone.

Washing your hands aggressively only with water, could remove as much bacteria as soap however takes more effort. It is important to use clean running water, as using sitting or water from a basin could have already attracted bacteria. 

Using an air dryer after washing hands may not rub off the bacteria like a dry paper towel and may even blow more germs onto your hands that it already contained.

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Before Mid-Pacific suspended classes due to the coronavirus, school bathrooms featured songs to sing while washing hands.

“When it comes to cereal boxes, many people could have touched the box and so I would use gloves to take the cereal package out of the box and dump the box,” said Lee.

Lee also says she disinfects the door knobs with Lysol after her parents (who still attend to their jobs) come home.

To effectively wash hands it is recommended to sing “Happy Birthday” twice or for 20 seconds.

“Think about it, I can see if everyone stayed home, took care of their health, and washed their hands, this can all reduce the spread,” said Han.