The last viral WhatsApp trick to prevent coronavirus, is to use the non-dominant hand … Does it work? It does not work?

The WHO recommendations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus They have been the same for months: maintain social distance, sneeze in the hollow of the arm or on a disposable tissue, disinfect common surfaces with water and bleach, avoid touching your face as much as possible and wash your hands of frequently with soap and water. And even there. But in less than a day a new idea to prevent infection has gone as viral as the coronavirus: use the non-dominant hand in public spaces.

The message has spread with indications on when to use this hand: when opening and closing handles, when opening or pressing the buttons in a public transport, in shared bathrooms … and a long list of other situations.

Using the hand that we don't usually use for these actions, we are supposed to have less chance of touching our faces later which prevent the hand that has been "contaminated" with coronavirus to access our vulnerable areas: eyes, nose and mouth. And to give it even more emphasis on the good of this system, all those messages ensured that this measure was used by the Korean government to curb the expansion of the coronavirus in the Asian country. Well, analyzing it scientifically, is this effort to use the opposite hand for something useful?

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The simple answer given by all experts is short: no. Touching the face is an unconscious movement, an automatism impossible to control, you do not realize how many times you touch it (we already tell you: 23 times every hour), nor with which of the two hands you do it. In addition, using only one hand when we are in public spaces or we are going to open a door or window is not a guarantee of anything: we cannot know in advance which surfaces are contaminated by coronavirus and which we cannot and cannot avoid that the hand that we have used accidentally touch the other.

In summary, this measure was not applied in Korea nor has it scientifically demonstrated any ability to protect from anything. But there are others that have done so: maintain social distance, sneeze or cough in the forearm, disinfect common surfaces and wash their hands often with soap and water. Please use them.

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