In 2020, Tip of the Week

Today, October 19, 2020 is National Kentucky Day, National Seafood Bisque Day, and National Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop Day, according to the National Day Calendar, linked here. If anyone is wondering, yesterday was National Chocolate Cupcake Day and tomorrow is National Brandied Fruit Day. It seems that we celebrate just about anything with a National Fill in the Blank Day.

Why would any of this be important? Because last week, on October 15, 2020, we celebrated Global Handwashing Day. While we are in the midst of a pandemic and are facing the start of the cold and flu season, washing our hands is extremely important. It is important enough that we didn’t just celebrate a national day – we went global.

Why is handwashing education important? Because internationally, we can make a difference. Some of the statistics cited by the CDC on the benefits of handwashing include:

  • Reducing the number of people contracting diarrhea by 23 – 40 %.
  • Reducing the number of children that miss school due to gastrointestinal illness by 29 – 57 %.
  • Reducing diarrheal illness in people with compromised immune systems by 58 %.
  • Reducing respiratory illnesses (colds) in the general population by 16 – 21 %.

Teaching people about the proper way to wash hands will reduce illnesses in children and will likely reduce absenteeism at work.



  • Wet your hands with clean, running water. Turn off the tap to reduce water useage.
  • Lather up with soap, getting the suds under the fingernails, on the back of your hand, and between your fingers.
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds. If you are tired of singing Happy Birthday while you scrub, the Scripps institute recently published a list of 20 songs with 20 second choruses. Here’s the link.
  • Turn on the water and rinse, then dry your hands.

What about using hand sanitizer? Again, the CDC has some guidance on that. Hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on your hands, but not as effectively as good old soap and water. If you do not have immediate access to a handwashing facility, use the hand sanitizer, then wash your hands as soon as you can.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during and after preparing food, and then again before eating.
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick or has a wound.
  • After going to the bathroom and/or changing a diaper.
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • After touching garbage.
  • After being in public and touching any surface, which is particularly important during the pandemic.
  • After removing gloves.
If you are interested in reading the science behind the procedure for Handwashing, please follow this link.



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