How to deal with COVID-19 when you are over 65
Hand washing

Washing away the virus

Why it's important

The virus does not spread through your skin.  The reason for washing your hands is to literally wash away any virus before you touch your lips or nose.  Soap and water do this better than anything. Surgeons scrub their hands with soap and water for 5 to 10 minutes before every surgery many times a day.  We can and should do the same - but 20-30 seconds is enough for us. 

Soap and water

Wet your hands first with running water. Warmish water helps the soap lather but cold running water works just as well.  Soap and water that is too hot may irritate your skin. Using a block of soap is better than a disinfectant spray as soap and water cleanse the skin better.  Neither is likely to kill the virus but the aim is to wash it away. Use plenty of lather or liquid soap in the cup of one hand and rub it with your other hand’s finger-nails, under your rings, and then into the crevices of your fingers. Then wash the backs of your hands, knuckles and up to the wrists. Rinse them off in running water. Dry with a tissue (or air dry) and turn off the faucet with the tissue before throwing it away.


It is probably advisable not to wear rings other than plain wedding bands to avoid getting the virus underneath them.  Take them off and wash with soap and water separately. It is also helpful to keep your fingernails short – no longer than the tips of your fingers.