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Video shows how you may be washing your hands wrong
Washing your hands with soap and water can help protect against the coronavirus. But only if you do it correctly.
- The video was shared by restaurateur and influencer Harjinder Singh Kukreja.
- It shows how some people might be missing certain parts of the hands while washing.
- The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Washing your hands with soap — any kind, not just antibacterial — is arguably the best thing you can do to protect yourself against the novel coronavirus. After all, the virus is able to survive on surfaces like doorknobs or packages for days, meaning you don't necessarily have to come near an infected person to contract it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, "especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing."
Simple enough. But a new video demonstrates how it's likely that many people are washing their hands incorrectly. Shared by restaurateur and influencer Harjinder Singh Kukreja, the video shows someone applying black paint to their gloves to show how easy it is to miss parts of your hands while washing.
Correct technique to wash your hands for proper disinfection. #CoronavirusOutbreakindia #CoronaVirusUpdate #COVID… https://t.co/TLjLH4iqKf— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@Harjinder Singh Kukreja)1584637699.0
Kukreja demonstrates how to properly clean parts of the hand like the fingertips, fingernails, around the thumb, and around the top of the hands and wrists. The video, viewed more than 17 million times since March 19, seems to have struck a chord.
"This is the best thing yet. 20 seconds is pointless if you keep missing areas," said one Twitter user. "The fact people dont know how to wash their hands properly truly amazes me," said another.
So, why is washing your hands with soap and water so effective — even more so than hand sanitizer? The answer has to do with the molecular structure of soap. Soap molecules have two sides: one that's attracted to water, another to fat. The part of the soap molecule that's attracted to fat has a feature called a hydrophobic tail. These tails try to escape water and find fats.
Fortunately for us, virus molecules are held together by a layer of fat. So, when soap molecules contact virus molecules, that layer of fat gets ripped apart, destroying the virus.
"They act like crowbars and destabilize the whole system," Prof. Pall Thordarson, acting head of chemistry at the University of New South Wales, told the New York Times.
It may come as a surprise that soap and water is better at killing viruses than hand sanitizer. One reason is that, even though hand sanitizer may kill certain germs, it doesn't really wash them away — especially if your hands are dirty or grimy.
"Hand sanitizer may kill viruses and certain bacteria, but it does not 'clean' your hands like soap and water do," Athanasios Melisiotis, a physician with Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told Allure. "Sanitizer doesn't remove actual dirt and debris. Soap kills germs, binds them, and helps physically remove them, with the water, off your skin and down the drain."
Hand sanitizer in a pinch
Still, hand sanitizer is better than nothing. So, if you're on the go or without soap, consider using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Why? The CDC says:
"Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs; and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright."
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
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Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
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