90. Wash your hands

There’s been a lot of fear and nervousness around the corona virus outbreak, so I figured I would do a post on what I tell my students when they ask.

Wash your hands.

The best thing to protect yourself if you do get the virus, or anything for that matter, is to wash your hands.

Generally speaking, a good hand washing gets off all the transient organisms (the ones floating in the environment you walk in) off your skin. You don’t have to wash your hands every thirty seconds, or continuously lather with germex.

Granted, some people in the population have weaker immune systems, and they get sick a lot easier, like older people or people already sick with something else. Handwashing for them might not be enough protection.

But you know what can help? Healthy people who wash their hands and stay well. The majority of people make sure they don’t get sick, so when they are around people who struggle with staying well, there is some form of protection.

This concept is known as herd immunity, which is why we vaccinate the majority of the population to protect the minority who can’t receive the vaccine for whatever reason.

The biggest thing you can do to help your loved ones is wash your hands. Don’t skimp out after using the restroom; don’t wipe your hands on your pants after touching a slimy doorknob; don’t go to bed after a long day of interacting with people and shaking hands without washing your own.

Does hand washing solve all the issues? Of course not. But it is something you can do when there is nothing else you can do except sit and wait for the next news article. Do your part. Protect your loved ones. Wash your hands.

Or as the CDC puts it,

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