It’s hard to go a day without seeing someone in gloves. County health leaders recently swung their support in favor of masks, stepping off initial sentiments to keep masks in the hands of health care workers embroiled in the fight. Could health care leaders soon do an about-face on gloves?
Dr. Georgine Nanos doesn’t think so.
Nanos, who specializes in epidemiology, says gloves aren’t as great of a protectant against COVID-19 as you might think. They might prevent you from touching your face as often, but they don’t ultimately fit the bill beneficially.
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“It doesn’t necessarily protect you from getting those same germs or COVID-19,” the doctor said. “You’re not going to contract COVID-19 through your hand so you’re not really protecting yourself other than the fact that you are less likely to touch your face.”
But it’s not just the pseudo role it plays that gets people in trouble. Nanos said if gloves aren’t worn or discarded properly, they could actually put you right back in harm’s way.
“It can work against you because if you have a false sense of security and you’re wearing gloves and you’re touching all these surfaces and then you’re not discarding the gloves or washing your hands, then that defeats the entire purpose," Nanos said.
Besides gloves, other items can be used to create a buffer between you and the contaminants you face day-to-day.
Nanos said plastic bags and napkins can be just as effective with pin pads or gas pumps, just as long as they are safely discarded immediately after use.