Spreading coronavirus? Why wearing gloves to supermarket isn’t helping

Posted on April 23, 2020 by


The gloves are coming off in the fight against dangerous myths surrounding the coronavirus, according to this article.

Despite no recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do so, shoppers continue to wear gloves in public places, such as grocery stores. The gesture has left doctors and health experts shaking their heads — not only are the gloves ineffective, they may be worsening the spread of COVID-19.

The virus primarily spreads through our mouth, not our hands, so there’s no evidence that gloves do anything to protect people from picking up the illness. The risk is when people touch their faces, which they do with and without gloves, says Marilyn Roberts, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences.

Why they’re making matters worse

Even if you’re careful not to touch your face or your phone while wearing the gloves, improper disposal of the wares could make your gloves a corona-culprit. In 2003, for example, Canadian researchers were exposed to SARS after removing their personal protective equipment incorrectly. Cases like these are the main reason why gloves often do more harm than good, Roberts says.

“Wearing gloves if you’re just going to the grocery store isn’t going to be that protective,” Roberts says. “The bigger issue is the inappropriate disposal.”

And the average shopper likely isn’t well-versed in proper glove removal, says Dr. Niket Sonpal, assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York.

I have noticed the blue and the white gloves on the grounds of parking lots where I have shopped. It makes me to believe that shoppers are taking off their gloves before getting into their cars, touching their keys or car door handles so they won’t inadvertently contaminate someone else driving. It’s a practice I see more as the pandemic gets worse. Don’t leave them in a shopping cart either for grocery employees or the next customers to touch.

Maybe the solution is to take a separate bag like the ones used for dog poop, to disregard your gloves or better yet, throw them out in a waste receptacle at your grocery store.

Be considerate and be safe.

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Posted in: Family safety