Kristen Bell Shares Her Blacklight Experiment And It Shows Exactly Why Washing Hands Is Critical

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As a mom, I spend a frustrating amount of time trying to get my kids to wash their hands. Even when there is no terrifying viral outbreak, I have seen what my kids do with their hands and believe me, it’s gross.

So, when news spread of the coronavirus along with the CDC warning to wash your damn hands, I had to find something aside from my nagging to get my kids to fall in line.

Enter Kristen Bell and her shocking handwashing blacklight comparison Instagram post that has everyone reaching for the handsoap.

In a series of six images, Bell shows her 13.1 million followers what her germy hands looked like through six variations of cleanliness; unwashed, rinse and shake, washed for six seconds with no soap, washed for six seconds with soap, washed with soap for 15 seconds, and finally, washed with soap for 30 seconds, which is what the CDC recommends. 

The images go from bright blue (dirty) to dark blue (clean) and if this doesn’t drive the point home that you don’t run your hands underwater for a few seconds then shake them off and call it good, then I don’t know what will.

The post has attracted more than 378K reactions and over 4K comments, one of the most repeated is to simply sing the happy birthday song while you wash your hands as that will get you to the 30-second benchmark of time needed to get your hands squeaky clean

In a recent study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (MIT) and published in an international science journal called Risk Analysisresearchers noted a couple of astonishing finds.

First, that 30% of people don’t wash their hands. Ew…gross.

And second, that if proper handwashing mechanisms and practices existed at 10 critical airports then we could slow the spread of coronavirus by 37%.

And that’s just at airports, imagine if we all started washing our hands appropriately and adequately to ensure health and safety? 

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended guideline on washing hands is simply, “wash hands frequently with soap and water” but we know better.

We know that it takes warm water and soap together with some amount of persistence and patience to get through 30-seconds especially when you’re dealing with small kids.

But the benefits of the public far outweigh the risk of simply shrugging our shoulders and not training ourselves and our kids to do a better job.

Other preventative measures include using your personal bubble and keeping a safe distance of three feet away from people, especially those who show signs of illness.

In addition, if you’re sick, stay home. There is no need to bring germs into the public but if you have zero choices and you need to get somewhere like a hospital or doctor’s office or even a pharmacy or grocery store then wear a mask to help prevent making those around sick. 

For live updates on the coronavirus and how to keep yourself safe, check out Healthline where journalists and scientists are posting nonstop, round-the-clock updates on how the virus is spreading and information from s=doctors and scientists as the virus becomes better understood. 

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Sarah Cottrell
Sarah Cottrell is a Maine based freelance journalist and lifestyle writer. Her work has been featured on VICE Tonic, New York Magazine, Washington Post, and has been included in seven anthologies including the New York Times bestselling series, I Still Just Want to Pee Alone. Check out her work at sarahcottrellfreelance.com.

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