What is the future of hand sanitising?
Covid-19 has been at the forefront of all our health concerns over the last couple of years and during this time good hand hygiene was promoted as the first line of defence against the spread of coronavirus. Medical experts started to emphasise the importance washing your hands can have and, as a result, manufacturer's experienced a spike in sales of hygiene products. This inevitably led to a decrease in infection rates as people started to uphold hand hygiene practices, however, in the relief of the pandemic coming to an end, these practices have undoubtedly begun to decline, leaving the question: what is the future of hand sanitising?
A post-pandemic response
During the last couple of years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alongside Public Health England (PHE) and just about every other public health sector, emphasised just how important handwashing or hand sanitising are in killing/removing harmful germs and bacteria. Though inspired by the events of the pandemic, this medical fact - washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, is the most efficient method of killing pathogens - was the case long before the first wave of Covid-19, our practice of this, however, were predominantly lacklustre at best. Each and every one of us had to adopt the habit of maintaining good hand hygiene to remain safe and healthy during the pandemic, and it is still essential that we uphold these practices in the post-pandemic future.
For many who were stuck at home, unable to leave for work, unable to socialise with friends and families, and unable to fully care for those who were vulnerable, the post-pandemic joy and reviving of social normality has meant that many of the practices we held during the pandemic have understandably begun to decline. A happiness or satisfaction found in returning to a normal conduct of life has perhaps embedded a false sense of security, however, harmful germs and bacteria are very much still a risk in our everyday lives. In fact, as we progress out of the pandemic, our natural immune systems are less equipped to deal with the ‘usual suspects’ such as the common cold, norovirus, and flu. As such, both medical and economical experts have predicted that the awareness of disease transmission and the positive effect handwashing/hand sanitising has in controlling the spread of infection, will result in a post-pandemic ‘new normal’, whereby, maintaining good hand hygiene will become second nature as industries hope to promote safety amongst customers and medical specialists aim to ease the spread of infection through further promoting the effectiveness of hand sanitising.
A new normal
The ripple effect of hand hygiene was never more pronounced than during the pandemic. As handwashing and hand sanitising were both promoted as first line defences against the spread of coronavirus, campaigns like ‘The Gloves are Off!’ and ‘Glove Awareness Week’, sought to invigorate the importance of hand hygiene by demonstrating the effectiveness it can have from individuals, to small groups, to whole industries.
In this new normal, many industries have been quick to ensure their brand and ethos include an assurance of safety for all customers. It is no secret that the opportunists in the marketing industry jumped at the chance to market ‘new and improved’ hygiene products in a time when public concern had spiked, cashing in on the rare situation that the pandemic provided. Since, however, the CDC have issued a variety of bans and restrictions to ensure that hand hygiene products on the market remain fit for purpose.
Today, it is expected that prestigious and well established businesses will provide visible hygiene solutions, that is to say handwashing units/sinks or hand sanitising facilities, that are in view and accessible for all customers to use. Actively demonstrating care and consideration for public health now encompasses far more than any one individual’s responsibility. The emphasis on infection control and the widespread knowledge of disease transmission has led to an increasingly health-conscious society that prefers facilities that provide a safe environment.
Superior hygiene for everyone
Both from a public and economic perspective, hand hygiene has become a key part of our day-to-day lives. After enduring the pandemic, access to handwashing or hand sanitising facilities where people meet to work, socialise, and improve their health has become essential.
Businesses have to be aware and accommodating to their customer’s needs, from disabled access, to safe and appropriate placement, providing superior hygiene solutions is now an integral part of offering the best customer experience.