“Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.”
This is a basic precaution that I remember teaching the Brownie Girl Scout Troup I led. Now, with the Corona Virus landing in flu season, the news is filled with reminders to wash hands. I get emails instructing me to wash hands before touching things at various offices, etc.
Since I’m used to working in the hospital I am conditioned to scrub in and scrub out which means wash your hands on your way into a room and wash your hands on the way out of a room. These basic sanitary processions help keep infections and disease controlled. Dr. Semmelweis and Joseph Lister would be so proud.
1867, hand washing became a standard practice in medicine. It started in a women’s hospital in Vienna.
– This random fact was brought to you by a romantic book that I read.
There is one major population that does not have access to soap and water. This is the same population that also doesn’t have access to reliable hygiene and toilets. This particular population tends to live close together and live lives that don’t lend themselves to sterile environments.
Homeless folks don’t have running water or sinks. They often don’t have enough money for hand sanitizers. although it’s easy to get a hand sanitizer at homeless connect day, if you use it appropriately you will run it through it within a week.
I have been watching diseases run through Skid Row. The resistant germs, the flu’s, and all the illnesses that you can pass back and forth are rampant there. Tuberculosis is at an all-time high among the residents of Skid Row. myself, I have to get a chest x-ray every three years because I’ve been exposed to TB because I worked there.
It’s not a matter of if the homeless people will get coronavirus. It’s a matter of when and how we will deal with it.
It would be a good step to put portable hand washing stations every two blocks on corners.
It would be a good step to put self-cleaning toilets every three blocks on the corners.
Starbucks allowing anyone to come in and use the restroom probably is doing more good than it is anticipated to be annoying everybody else.
I wonder if the manufacturers of the Sandy wipes and handy wipes and waste outlets that you get when you eat ribs would be willing to make mass donations to Skid Row and to hospitals and to medical clinics and therapist offices so that they can be handed out to people who will take them into the street with them.