Precaution within a pandemic

The enforcement of hand sanitizers in our school


Infographic created by Brenna Batchelder

During a pandemic, keeping your hands clean is a priority. Hand washing for 20 seconds and using hand sanitizer correctly helps keeps people protected from the virus.

Brenna Batchelder, Staff Reporter

After six long months of not being in school, the first thing welcoming us back when we finally walk into the building is gallons of hand sanitizer. A pump is required for every room we enter and leave, reminding us of the circumstances that we are facing due to COVID-19. Hand sanitizer offers a fast way to get rid of bacteria on your hands without having to worry about water and soap. Though sanitizers have their benefits, methods like wearing washing your hands should be enforced more than sanitizer.  

Once the pandemic hit America in February, people desperately added hand sanitizer to their shopping carts to protect them from the virus. The pandemic caused the sales of hand sanitizer to go up “80.7% by the end of February,” according to Statista. This led to the mass production of hand sanitizers to satisfy the demand for it.

 Companies rushed to get their cleaning products on the market, which led to the production being rushed. It is common to see recalls on hand sanitizer brands from the Food and Drug Administration. to protect Americans from being poisoned by different alcohols like Methanol. This makes a quality hand sanitizer harder to find. 

Washing your hands removes germs much more effectively. It removes all dirt and debris from your hands compared to just smearing it around like hand sanitizers. According to an article done by Allure, multiple doctors agreed that viruses get killed effectively through handwashing and not necessarily using hand sanitizers. 

The usage of hand sanitizers is also an issue within itself. The CDC explains that sanitizers might inactivate microbes efficiently, but most people don’t get a large enough substance or wipe it off before it dries. This keeps harmful bacteria on your hands, doing the opposite of what people hope for in sanitizers. To use them to their full advantage, Medical News Today suggests to keep the hand sanitizer on your hands and rub it in until it’s dry. 

Handwashing does more to clean your hands thoroughly and you don’t have to worry about the formula. With hand sanitizers, the CDC claims people need to have a sanitizer with a 60% alcohol content for it to even protect against viruses like COVID-19. Chemicals in the hand sanitizers can help you but in some cases, it can do the opposite. Depending on the formula, too much of an ingredient can possibly cause poisonings.  

Millard West encourages hand sanitizer use with every room we leave and enter, but if students and teachers use it incorrectly it doesn’t help our situation. Handwashing is more reliable and does more to protect the school compared to sanitizer. Officials should shift their focus to proper handwashing techniques more than the use of sanitizers. The proper procedures include using soap and warm water and scrubbing all the surfaces of your hands for at least 20 seconds. 

When you purchase the right sanitizer and use it correctly, it does its job. But handwashing remains a stronger method to prevent an outbreak. Protecting students and teachers from COVID-19 is a priority. Because of this, handwashing should be enforced by officials due to the countless advantages compared to hand sanitizers