Hygiene – what we have learned through Covid

One of the few positive aspects of the Covid-19 crisis is that general awareness of infectious diseases and hygiene has received a huge push forward, socially speaking. Many more of our fellow citizens are now aware that simple measures can drastically reduce infectious disease infections. This was evident from the fact that lockdowns, masks, disinfectants, not shaking hands, etc., have greatly reduced the incidence of flu and colds. These infections have also claimed their victims every year. What will happen next in this regard after these findings?

Hygiene – what comes after Covid?

Anyone familiar with the Pareto principle will understand why it is sometimes sufficient to focus on just a few factors to achieve the greatest possible effect. It is clear that the most important drivers of the spread of viruses are the aeorosols that float through the air. And also the smear infections.

In the future, much more attention will be paid to this. We assume that hand disinfection in general will increase significantly. People will probably organise their daily lives in such a way that they always have a vial with them to clean their hands. Alternatively, there are wipes or the disinfection bracelet.

This is a tremendously practical tool where a spray device is contained in a bracelet directly on the wrist, so it is with you everywhere. Disinfectants are certainly used much more on the bus, in the gym or in restaurants.

The issue of masks has also changed as a result of the crisis. If you used to walk through a metropolis in Asia, you could always see inhabitants wearing a medical mask. In Asian cultures, the theme of community plays a different role than here. There, citizens with cold symptoms masked themselves so as not to infect others. Unthinkable in Germany in the past. Here, workers drove to the office sick, coughed all over buses and underground trains, and no one was bothered. Today, you would get nasty looks for that.

What is improved by more hygiene?

It turns out that a lot is already gained with these two simple measures. There are far fewer workers absent from work due to illness than before. From the point of view of society as a whole, mass absenteeism due to illness is a huge disadvantage. They ensure that the gross domestic product grows less than it would. In addition, the costs are a burden on the health system. This is certainly good news for the economy in general. But it is also much more pleasant for all of us if there are no gastrointestinal or flu infections.

Especially for those who would be at risk from relatively harmless viruses. Among senior citizens, for example, rotaviruses are feared. They are transmitted at lightning speed and cause diarrhoea and vomiting. They occurred much less frequently during Covid 19.

Some experts even fear that the immune system will go crazy due to the low germ load, so that allergies will occur more frequently. However, this would also be the case for peoples who live isolated in remote corners of the world. They are spared from waves of infection, but are not particularly plagued by allergies.