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So, I do see people wearing surgical gloves out there on the street and my patients have asked me if they should be doing this. And my answer to that question has always been, no. And the reason for that is that I think people are wearing these gloves for the wrong reasons. Coronavirus doesn’t get into our bodies through our hands. In fact, our skin is just as good, if not better a barrier against infections including viruses than any man-made glove that you can buy. The way the coronavirus gets into our body is through what we call mucus membranes. That means, the eyes, the nose, and the mouth. Now, the problem is that the average person touches their face about 20 times an hour. And so that coronavirus, which is on various different surfaces gets transferred to people’s hands and then without them thinking about
it it goes onto their face. Wearing gloves doesn’t really change that. In fact, the coronavirus on various surfaces will stick to the glove just as well if not better than it would stick to your hand. And so the glove doesn’t prevent that transmission. In fact, it may be giving people a false sense of security and they might touch even more surfaces and then again still transfer that coronavirus back to their face. The way that I use gloves as a healthcare
worker is if I am going to see a patient with coronavirus I’ll start by washing my hands. And then I’ll put on my gear, including my
gloves. Then I’ll go into the patient room, I’ll interact with that patient. I’ll come out and then I’ll take off my gear, dispose of my gloves. And then I’m going to wash my hands again. So the gloves really are meant for a single use. They’re not designed for prolonged use or daily use. So the bottom line is you want to stop touching your face. And because we all tend to slip up it’s a good idea to just keep washing your hands and you can think of it as each time you wash your hands you’re putting on a fresh pair of gloves. And if you really want to control your hands just stick them in your pockets and leave them there.

James Carver

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