We would never have imagined our daily lives surrounded by people wearing masks, gloves, protective screens, screens, partitions, separation lines, and many other safety elements to which we have become accustomed very quickly.
Individual protection has become one of our primary concerns since COVID-19 came into our lives a little less than a year ago.
At first, even the authorities did not agree on the most appropriate systems of protection. The WHO said in April 2020: “masks were only recommended for the general population in the case of people who are ill or caring for patients at home.” This situation evolved. In May, the Spanish Government established the mandatory use of masks for those over 6 years of age when they could not guarantee a safety distance of two meters and another series of recommendations for service to prevent contagion.
The use of protective gloves also caused some controversy in the early stages of the pandemic. It was one of the products that caused a much higher demand than the market could offer, which led to a temporary shortage that made the Spanish and international industry react and redirect production to supply the new direction.
“We have healthcare facilities calling us every day trying to get gloves,” said Frank Zielkowski, founder of Malta-based Yanimed Brand, which markets gloves for medical, industrial and laboratory applications. “These are not our regular customers. They come to us because they are desperate to find gloves.”
Disposable gloves, such as those manufactured by RS Components, together with masks, screens, goggles, protective glasses, caps and protective suits, have become more critical than ever in the workplace. The so-called PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has become a protective barrier against the virus, mainly healthcare personnel. However, although they are not part of the general population’s protection, many citizens use disposable latex, polymer or nitrile gloves on certain occasions, which offer additional safety if they are used correctly.
“We see a more than threefold increase in demand for examination gloves, and demand for surgical gloves has also increased significantly,” said Sergio Raygada, leader of the sales division for the US market of Yanimed owned by Blokkx Ltd. company. Blokkx Ltd, whose brand Yanimed manufactures in various factories in Vietnam and China and expanding its activities in the world’s biggest market for nitrile gloves, Malaysia.
There are many recommendations on using gloves to provide adequate safety since wrong use can even cause the opposite effect to the desired one due to an inflated sense of security.
The main recommendation is that hands should be washed or in the case of professionals decontaminated, before and after use. Of course, they should neither be washed nor reused. Their use should be limited to the time strictly necessary; an excess of use could lead to a quantity of contamination and therefore multiply the risk of contagion. It is also crucial to remove them correctly, which must be done very carefully to not touch the outer part with the hands at any time and to leave the gloves inside out before placing them in the appropriate container.
Never before has society been so aware of contagion’s possibilities in our daily lives—the importance of the safety and prevention measures that are being implemented. Although there are still many reluctant people, the evidence clarifies that the effect is being positive even for other seasonal illnesses such as the common flu or colds. The pharmaceutical sector is already observing that the sale of anticatarrhal and anti-influenza drugs, cough products, mucolytics, etc. has fallen sharply, with the flu being considered to have disappeared so far.