Why You Should Not Wear Gloves During a Pandemic — Except…

People have generally been frightened by the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, as they do not want to spread the virus, get sick, or die; and the mixed messages from the most trusted sources in health in the world — combined with so-called “leaders” who politicized the pandemic for their own selfish gains — have certainly not helped matters…

Why You Should Not Wear Gloves During a Pandemic — Except…

Glove

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

…but some people have taken matters into their own hands — literally — by wearing disposable latex gloves in addition to masks or cloth face coverings, thinking that gloves will protect them…

…even though no trusted source of information pertaining to health recommended wearing gloves in general during the pandemic. In fact, wearing gloves can actually potentially worsen the situation by leading to the further spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses.

The official recommendation pertaining to wearing gloves by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is as follows:

For the general public, CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.

In most other situations, like running errands, wearing gloves is not necessary. Instead, practice everyday preventive actions like keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), and wearing a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.

In addition to what to do when wearing gloves while either cleaning or caring for someone who is sick, this advice is also from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Wearing gloves outside of these instances (for example, when using a shopping cart or using an ATM) will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs. The best way to protect yourself from germs when running errands and after going out is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Ask someone from the World Health Organization if wearing rubber gloves while out in public effective in the prevention of contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, and the answer will simply be no, as you can still pick up the 2019 Novel Coronavirus on rubber gloves. If you then touch your face, the contamination then goes from the glove to your face, which can then possibly infect you with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Furthermore — as per this information leaflet which was released in August of 2009 from the World Health Organization — the following three items are considered as the result of inappropriate use of gloves, which to this day and during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic still hold true:

  • The use of gloves when not indicated represents a waste of resources and does not contribute to a reduction of cross-transmission.
  • It may also result in missed opportunities for hand hygiene.
  • The use of contaminated gloves caused by inappropriate storage, inappropriate moments and techniques for donning and removing, may also result in germ transmission.

Summary

Glove

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Wearing gloves may protect your hands in certain specific situations; but I have observed that people who wear them during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic generally do not change them or clean them — let alone use them properly. This means that once they touch or handle a contaminated object or person with the glove, they then potentially spread whatever is on that object or person to items or areas which may have been sterilized, cleaned, or disinfected — or even to themselves or other people — and thus defeat the entire purpose of such sterilization, cleansing, or disinfection.

I have also seen gloves which have been disposed improperly and indiscriminately on the ground, which can potentially create a biohazardous environment.

The best way to protect yourself from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is to properly wash your hands on a regular basis, which does not necessarily mean frequently.

All photographs ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Why You Should Not Wear Gloves During a Pandemic — Except…”

  1. Mike says:

    I agree many people that wear gloves do not wear them properly but if worn correctly surely they protect better then sanitizer in the absence of water. If you put gloves on leaving your car use them during shopping, dont touch your face or clothing and properly dispose of them before getting back into your car of course it better but if your going to wear gloves touch everything and touch yourself then no point to wear gloves. I also always use them when pumping gas but never get back into my car wearing them nor touch my body or face. Gloves are no different then a mask, mask are also great if worn properly but if not they can create more problems. I see people all of the time touching stuff then touching the mask pulling it down over their chin, pull it back up over face and keep repeating the process which of course is improper wear and could be worse for them then not wearing it at all, although better for others they wear that dirty mask and only infect themselves.

  2. debit says:

    People are just selfish pricks. We need caning like singapore for littering.

  3. EJ says:

    This is so true! I don’t understand why the fast food workers who swipe your credit card bother wearing gloves when they don’t switch them out bad touch everyone’s credit card. I suppose at least it protects them, but doesn’t really help stop the spread.

    1. Joseph N. says:

      That’s true for sure. I’m staying at a Staybridge right now where the front desk employees do change gloves between every guest.

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