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Why We Can’t Sleep On Hand Hygiene in a Post-COVID America

Is there anything such as full-proof coronavirus immunity in a Post-COVID-19 America?

Unfortunately, the straight answer is no.

While COVID-19 has quieted across the U.S. and most of Europe after a vicious winter surge, it’s not an “All Clear” sign and a signal that we can lower our collective resolve to practice social distance rules along with strong hand hygiene, including washing hands properly with soap and water and using quality hand sanitizer.

“Not at all,” German hygiene specialist Dr Klaus-Dieter Zastrow told Daily Sahah.

This virus is going nowhere and everywhere simultaneously. But we can arm ourselves against present and future variants of this ever-evolving virus with stern adherence to the hand hygiene rules that have kept us on our feet and out of the hospital. If anything, we need to strengthen our hygiene diligence post-COVID, even if we are fully immunized and boostered.

As Dr. Clemens Wendtner, a European infectious disease specialist notes, “a new code of proper hygiene will apply beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”

May’s World Hand Hygiene Day, the World Health Organization’s annual healthcare facility hygiene call to action campaign, stressed the ever-present worldwide need to maintain strong hand hygiene. The program’s 2022 tagline is “Unite for Safety: Clean Your Hands.”

“World Hand Hygiene Day (2022) serves as a reminder that although COVID-19 is less on our minds than it was a year ago, the risks associated from spreading infections has not gone away,” notes.

For there still is no COVID-19 silver bullet. Scientists are now tracking the “Delta Mutation,” U.S.’s current most dominant coronavirus strain. The new variant is a member of the omicron family adapt at escaping immunity and causing more serious disease.

The new variant (officially known as BA.2.12.1) is a double infection threat as it contains properties of both omicron and delta. It was responsible for 58% of U.S. COVID-19 cases in May. Scientists caution that it is too early too know if the new coronavirus mutant will cause a significant increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

The Delta Mutation’s scariest potential trait?

An ability “to escape pre-existing immunity from vaccination and prior infection, especially if you were infected in the omicron wave,” Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist, told The Associated Press.

And our hands are still a well-traveled Coronavirus transmission highway.

“The pandemic has educated everyone about the bacteria around us, particularly that on our hands as a result of sneezing, coughing, proximity to other people, and contact with surfaces,” reports. “The fact is that the spread of diseases and infections by our hands is nothing new and will continue to be in the future.

“Be aware of the correct hand washing technique for effective hand hygiene and implement whenever possible.”

For the coronavirus, which has claimed a confirmed one million U.S. lives and counting, is never fully asleep in America. It’s an ever-present, easily transmissible threat in a post-pandemic America.

And we’ve learned the hard way as a country: we cannot let down our defense shields against COVID-19.

“Just because the pandemic is over, it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear,” states. “You continue to wear a seatbelt to protect yourself and others from vehicle incidents, and hand washing should be viewed in the same way.”