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person holding petri dish

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Can we talk about gloves, people? Honest to goodness, I am the Glove Queen! I step into that full authority and responsibility. In fact, you may actually call me the Glove Queen. I have been thoroughly trained on the use of gloves and then trained some more.

First a word about masks. So, talking to the general public here, regarding infection control, should you a wear a cloth mask? Probably or possibly, but with big caveats. Viruses are really tiny, they go right through the weave of material. So if wearing a cloth mask makes you feel better, go for it, just don’t let it give you a false sense of security.  You still need to keep your distance from other people. Also, you have to dispose of it or wash it frequently, otherwise all you’re really doing it putting a dirty rag over your face and rubbing germs right into your mucus membranes. How long does it take for a mask to become contaminated? About two seconds. One sneeze.

The CDC, WHO, all the people who are being hesitant about the general public wearing masks are not part of an elaborate conspiracy theory, they are not trying to deceive you! The wisdom about wearing masks has really not changed much in years. A cloth mask can be a possible barrier to slow the spread of germs or it can just become a dirty rag you use to concentrate germs and carry them right where they want to go.  Both facts are true at the same time.

Gloves are cut and dry however! No controversy, no questions. Gloves spread disease faster then bare hands. Gloves are task specific. You wear them for a task and then you throw them out. Pick up some raw chicken with a pair of gloves and boom, they’re contaminated. Don’t go handling door nobs now claiming “it’s okay, I’m wearing gloves!” No, you’re just wearing raw chicken infested gloves and smearing it all over everything you touch.

Gloves offer no magic what so ever. They are only as smart as the person wearing them.

So yesterday me and my bare hands had four separate occasions to recoil in horror and shudder. A woman put her gloves on before she handed me some money while proudly proclaiming, “I’ve been wearing these same gloves all week.” My stomach actually dropped. That’s the truth too, that’s what people do, they think the glove itself is magic and kills germs. Actually they just provide a really safe environment for germs to hang out and gather on.

Gloves probably spread disease even better than bare hands. Think about that truth. Also, you have to wash your hands, before and after you use them! Most people don’t. In fact, most people use gloves as an excuse to wash their hands even less.

person in blue gloves holding white plastic bottle

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My point being, the use of gloves and masks is a skill set, something you should train yourself on. It’s not a magic panacea. Nobody is trying to deceive you or manipulate you. There is no grand conspiracy trying to keep people from using masks or gloves. It’s honestly a cost effectiveness/safety equation. Do masks in the hands of the general public slow the spread of disease or make it spread even faster?

Welp, we know for certain that gloves in the hands of the general public can actually spread disease even faster than good hand washing. That is a well documented fact. Especially true if you’ve been wearing your stupid gloves all week.