RETOUCHE - white space-58

How Handwashing Behavior Has Changed During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting effect on our lifestyle – from how we work, the way we travel, and often ignored personal hygiene methods, handwashing, nothing remains the same. According to the WHO, handwashing remains one of the most effective tools to curtail coronavirus spread. Owing to the public attention on the benefits of practicing handwashing, it would be natural to assume that the majority of people engage in handwashing in the right way that guarantees protection. However, is this the case? Do more people in different parts of the world do what is necessary to safeguard their health and those around them in these trying times?

In this article, we will examine the evolution of handwashing behavior and other related issues—our study cuts across two countries in different continents: the USA and South Korea.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

The Evolution of Handwashing in a USA University

A study carried out at a large Southern US university in October 2020 showed that 31.4% of observed students failed to perform the recommended amount of handwashing. Meanwhile, the number of students who never handwash pre-COVID-19 ranged between 33.1% to 61.5%.

If this sample size is representative of the broader US society, then not much has changed in handwashing behavior since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic almost two years ago. This necessitates that governments and public health agencies adopt new tactics that facilitate better educational interventions that will motivate people to perform handwashing with minimal effort. An ideal system will ensure that handwashing is seamless and exciting.

The Evolution of Handwashing in Korean

In contrast to the US, the public’s adoption of handwashing in South Korea followed a different pattern. Research involving 1000 Korean participants highlights the evolution of handwashing in the country.

Koreans who wash their hands with bar soap decreased from 71.8 % to 51.4%. On the other hand, those who relied on liquid hand soap increased from 23.5 % to 41.3 % during the study. Also, an increase in the number of users of hand sanitizer was recorded.

While the public following of health recommendations is a laudable achievement, the public health guidelines must prioritize sensitizing how to handwash the proper way that guarantees safety and prevents the spread of diseases.

Three Measures for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Besides washing hands with soap and water, these are other methods deployed in safeguarding the spread of COVID-19 disease:

●       Social distancing

Social distancing was a new normal during the pandemic. WHO and health authorities worldwide recommend keeping physical distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. At the height of the pandemic, the WHO suggested keeping at least 1m apart. However, according to multiple reports, small particles containing the COVID-19 virus can travel as far as 10m in an indoor environment. Consequently, it is advisable to combine social distancing with other measures to ensure safety and protection from contracting the virus.

●       Using face mask

The use of facemask changed the trajectory of our dressing, both for disease-prevention purposes and fashion-wise. This particular measure applies to everybody over the age of 2. Also, those who are not fully vaccinated, as well as the fully vaccinated with a weakened immune system. Besides, it encompasses people who are fully vaccinated, but live in an environment with a massive load and high risk of contracting Covid-19 diseases.

Finding a safer and more sustainable approach

We still need to put in place long-term sustainable and skin-friendly hygiene measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus and other diseases.

That’s where the Smixin comes in.

If we want to encourage more people to take handwashing more seriously, we have to make it enticing and seamless as much as possible while having sustainability in mind.

Smixin is a sustainable system designed to encourage the maintenance of good hygiene. This new method is efficient and reliable even with scarce resources. For instance, Smixin hygiene systems use 90 % less water and 60 % soap and paper compared to standard handwashing. Hence, they are sustainable and, as a result, have a lesser impact on the environment.

Moreover, comparatively, Smixin guarantees a superior hygiene level with 12 – 15 seconds of use than 60 seconds with regular soap and typical sanitizer. This evidence is backed by the WHO / RKI / ECDC guideline and endorsed by a reputable testing institute.

Another benefit of using Smixin is its flexibility; it can be stationed at private and public washrooms to give customers access to a hygienic washing center. And the icing on the cake is Smixin’s accumulation of data. The system collects data from users, which can be used to monitor behavioral changes regarding handwashing.

Are you ready to become a part of the handwashing revolution that puts environmental sustainability and human health at its core? Talk to us today, and we will be happy to discuss our solutions with you.