Before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus late last year, the habit of handwashing among the members of the society was not taken seriously.
Necessity they say, is the mother of invention, and many who before now, do not see the need for frequent hand washing and only did that before and after eating are beginning to imbibe the idea as a frontline measure to protect and stop the spread of the coronavirus through human to human contact.
Since the outbreak of the disease, people have been sensitized to the need for frequent handwashing and the response is encouraging. Hardly would you visit any household, shops, and offices without handwashing equipment such as buckets, water, and soap.
Most offices provide and also made it compulsory for staff and visitors to use hand sanitizers before entry or exit from their buildings. Private individuals are not left out as most people also move out with personal sanitizers in their bags which is commendable and encouraging.
The media has played a highly commendable role in sensitizing the people about the benefits of frequent hand washing in the fight to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
The question however is, would the habit of frequent hand washing be sustained after the pandemic?
In light of the information available especially from the Nigerian Center for Disease Control NCDC, it will amount to reversing our gains, if we as a society, fail to sustain all personal hygiene practices and guidelines that have helped to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus.
Therefore, it is important to have the benefit of handwashing at the back of our mind in our bid to integrate the habit as a part of our daily hygienic process. We were often taught as children to brush our teeth, day and night, to comb our hair, and take our bathe daily; as routine personal hygiene practices.
Our parents at home, our teachers at school, the government in developing the school curricula, have all in some manner contributed to the sensitization and teaching of these hygienic practices which has come to stay as a part of our daily lives.
In like manner, it is desirable that all the stakeholders should endeavor in all their capacities to include the act of frequent hand washing both in public offices and private homes as a part of our daily hygienic practices.
If we all should make handwashing a habit, not just for the sake of the coronavirus, we will all experience a healthier society which will positively affect our life expectancy rate.
It is, therefore, a clarion call for everybody both old and young, parents, teachers, and children alike, to imbibe the habit of handwashing as a necessary tool for healthy living just as we continue to practice our personal hygiene effortlessly.
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In view of this, the handwashing equipment in different homes, offices, and public places should not be removed from its various strategic points after the pandemic is over and hand sanitizers should be encouraged for everyone to go about with.
Frequent hand washing as a personal hygiene practice should be taught at nursery and primary school level, practiced and encouraged both at homes and in public places.
If all of us should take this precaution seriously, such viruses as coronavirus will probably never be experienced again and a healthy and wealthy society can be easily achieved, After all, it often said, that “health is wealth.