With no vaccine available yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) has asked citizens to "regularly and thoroughly clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water."
While the US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested to "wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing." It further stated that if the soap water weren't readily available, a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol shall be used.
Since then, people across the globe, including India have keenly taken to google to check the effectiveness of handwashing and hand sanitizers in combatting the deadly virus.
Such is the demand of hand disinfectants across the world that stores are running out of hand sanitizers.
so much for getting hand sanitizer at my neighborhood cvs pic.twitter.com/rmICppzEnZ— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 2, 2020
Yes, alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can kill coronavirus as it has an envelope coating around it that alcohol can attack. https://t.co/7mUGx14IoD— Dr. Amalina (@DrAmalinaBakri) March 3, 2020
The spike on Google is a testament. "Buy hand sanitizer", "what is hand sanitizer, "sanitizer above 60 alcohol" were some of the trending keywords on Google on Tuesday.
But what if you weren't able to get your hands on one with the on-going demand? Just wash your hands, says the Internet and doctors on it - many of who have cited WHO's suggestions.
But I will say this FACT: alcohol based hand sanitizer is absolutely effective in stopping the spread of disease when you don't have access to a sink. And washing your hands is the better option when it's available.— Erin Biba says WASH YOUR HANDS (@erinbiba) March 3, 2020
Not only should you wash you hands but wash your phone, your remote control, your sink handles and all your doorknobs. They’re all germy and just nasty if you don’t. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open public bathroom doors after hand washing too.— Southern Artist and Democrat (@sherrilee7) March 3, 2020
You do not need to buy expensive hand washes or gels. Hot water and soap work well and you should wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.— Rob McDowall (@robmcd85) March 2, 2020
20 seconds is enough time to sing the song 'Happy Birthday' twice. pic.twitter.com/WqxgVR984S
To all those worried that hand sanitiser is sold out, it's worth noting...— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) March 2, 2020
"2019 study by the American Society for Microbiology, using running water and soap to wash your hands is more effective than a dab of gel" (via guardian)
In fact, people have shared videos to guide you on how to properly wash your hands - just in case you were doing it wrong.
Still on Corona virus a lot is being said about hand washing but yet a lot of us still don’t know the correct way to wash our hands.— Ibadan Tasha Cobbs (@T0_0LU) February 28, 2020
Here’s a video demonstrating how to.
NB: You should was your hands for about 20 seconds (sing happy birthday song twice)
RT so others can see pic.twitter.com/C4lTR6s2cE
Iranian health professional uses paint to demonstrate spots we often miss when washing hands in the wake of #Coronavirus outbreak. At the end she shows how to safely remove disposable gloves without touching the polluted surface. #BREAKING #China #Corona #nCoV19 #COVID19 #Iran pic.twitter.com/9QiEda7SFs— Muhammad Bilal Aamir (@bilalaamir35) February 24, 2020
Amidst the chaos and empty local pharmacy shelves around the globe, Twitterati raised an important question - why were stores running out of hand wash soaps and sanitizers, didn't people wash their hands before?
The fact that hand soap is selling out at stores makes me wonder: didn’t people wash their hands before?!— Kimberly Atkins (@KimberlyEAtkins) March 2, 2020
Actually amazes me & also terrifies me that hand washing has all of a sudden become this new thing to battle bugs & protect us. What have people been doing before??? Wash your hands. Always. That's all!— Professor Harris (@craigjohnharris) March 4, 2020
I’m seeing that all hand sanitizers are sold out, when the soap aisle is practically full. YOU STILL NEED TO WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP. Hand sanitizer is for when you can’t wash your hands at the moment. Washing your hands is more efficient!!! PLSSSS— vxnxsxa (@nessaaaa_knows) March 3, 2020
Go, wash your hands.