In her video demonstration, Molly Lixey reminds viewers that there's no point in wearing gloves unless you wash your hands every time you touch something.
President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends the use of cloth or fabric face coverings when visiting the grocery store, pharmacy, and other public places. This updated guidance is reportedly meant to prevent the spread of Coronavirus from those who are already infected but asymptomatic to the uninfected population. Although U.S. health authorities waited until now to issue this guideline, many wary Americans have been following these precautionary measures for weeks. With the number of confirmed cases increasing exponentially, people would rather be safe than sorry.
“CDC recommends all Americans wear masks”— RAFAEL (@RafaelCasal) April 4, 2020
All the people who have been wearing a mask for weeks: pic.twitter.com/FCLv01ITiF
This mentality was quite evident to Molly Lixey—a former emergency room nurse in Saginaw, Michigan—during a recent trip to the grocery store where she noticed quite a few people wearing gloves. Although the fact that people were taking this pandemic seriously was reassuring, Lixey was quite disturbed by another observation. She realized that despite all their precautionary measures, these wary individuals were still in danger of contracting the virus due to a significant aspect that was being overlooked: cross-contamination. Wanting to raise the alarm on the false sense of security such mask and glove users could be under, Lixey recorded an impromptu video demonstrating just how quickly and easily germs spread at a grocery store.
This nurse used paint to demonstrate how people are still spreading germs while wearing gloves pic.twitter.com/THXF2zgeMp— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 5, 2020
Speaking to CNN, Lixey explained: "I was doing some painting around the house and it hit me that paint would be a perfect medium to use to explain this (cross-contamination). It terrifies me to think people believe they're safe only because they are wearing gloves and not have them be aware that they could still be harming themselves or others." In the video she posted (via storyful) to Facebook last week, Lixey simulates a trip to the grocery store with gloves on both hands and following the now common practice of wiping down the shopping cart.
For the purpose of the demonstration, Lixey uses a piece of cardboard as her cell phone and dips her fingers in a plate of paint to symbolize the germs on her hands as a result of picking up items from the shelves. "But it's (the germs) on my gloves, that's fine right? It's on my gloves," she says in the video. "But now I'm walking along and my phone rings, so I've now touched my hands together a couple of times, I reach for my phone and oh I have a text message from my husband." The paint—i.e. germs—eventually gets on her cheek after picking up a simulated phone call and when she uses the phone again after removing the gloves, her hands become exposed to the germs on the device—demonstrating cross-contamination.
"I understand as a nurse I have had extensive training in the use of PPE, but many people in the general public have not," she said. "They are all so fearful right now they will do anything to protect themselves, but it's important they do so properly." In her video, she reminds viewers that "there's no point in wearing gloves if you're not gonna wash your hands every time you touch something." Lixey's video quickly went viral on social media, with over 57K shares and fellow medical professionals reiterating her message of being aware of cross-contamination.
Facebook user LaTisha Brown-Thomas commented: Thank You for sharing. I am a nurse in Cleveland Ohio. I see this cross-contamination all the time. It's so frustrating. I know people are scared but we have to think and be mindful of our actions. I try to educate as often and will continue to do so but the key to this is WASH your hands..!!!!!!!!! Lixey, who currently works inside an infusion clinic at a doctor's office, plans to go back to working in a hospital setting if the virus continues to further spread in her area.
I work for a grocery store, in a fresh dept, and it bothers me to no end seeing people wearing the gloves, being unaware of cross-contamination. Whatever you touch, that’s on the gloves, is getting on our product. Which then is touched by another person, etc.— Rocky (@rockyrraccoon66) April 5, 2020
Video courtesy: Molly Lixey via Storyful