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Global Handwashing Day: It's more important than ever

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The observance of Global Handwashing Day has never been more important than now, during the pandemic. Here's why we should wash our hands, why some people don't and others can't and how to start and keep hands moisturized during winter.

"The COVID-19 pandemic provides an important reminder that handwashing with soap and water is one of the simplest, most effective ways to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy," said Vincent Hill, chief of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, via email.

"Many germs that can make people sick are spread when we don't wash our hands with soap and clean, running water.

Why some people don't wash their hands

Constantly washing our hands with soap and rubbing in hand sanitizer can make our hands feel like sandpaper.

After washing your hands, pat them dry with a clean towel but leave them slightly damp "to lock in the moisture" from ointments and creams that you'll work into your skin, fingertips and nails, said Dr. Paul M.

Alcohol, the primary ingredient in hand sanitizer, is "one of the most common irritating ingredients to the skin," Friedman said.

Increasing "motivation to hand wash in the face of stress and busyness is a difficult challenge," Berry said.

By thinking of oneself as a role model, "we engage the activity differently; we consciously begin to identify that hand washing is an important" personal and social value to be shared with others, Berry said.

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