With the more transmissible Delta variant circulating widely, and coronavirus cases rising rapidly across the country, resisting pandemic fatigue is paramount. Many are even wondering if hand sanitizer is still protecting us from the novel Coronavirus. Renewing our commitments to common-sense public health strategies like hand-washing and hand sanitizer use will be necessary to stem this latest wave.
The Delta variant is a formidable foe, but it is still no match for good old soap and water. That being said, if you’re on the go and can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer is still an excellent substitute. Sanitizer works by actually killing the bacteria and viruses that wind up on our hands. But as swiftly as sanitizer kills the bad bacteria, it also kills the good. So while sanitizer is still a strong alternative for protecting ourselves against COVID, it should not be overused.
For instance, vapors from the hand sanitizer can irritate those with a hyperreactive airway disease. The high concentration of alcohol also damages the outer layer of skin, causing dry hands that are prone to itching and cracking. This damage allows pathogens from the outside to get in, which increases the risk of other bacterial infections. Too much use can also lead to resistance by the other flora, bacteria or viruses that you regularly run into. That’s why there’s no reason to use hand sanitizer at home or in the bathroom. But if you’re out and about, it’s worthwhile.
While everything in life has risks, there are also numerous benefits of hand sanitizer use. Hand sanitizer is portable, convenient, and when not overused is extremely effective. Using this germ-battling item, especially in large group settings, can support your hygiene and your well being, regardless of where life takes you.
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