This nurse demonstrates just how fast germs spread even if you're wearing gloves

People around the world are being asked to practice social distancing. These guidelines can show you how to do it safely.

Posted: Apr 5, 2020 4:00 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2020 4:00 AM

To stop the spread of coronavirus, many states are under stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions limit where you can go.

But that doesn't mean many well-meaning people may not wind up exposing themselves to germs unwittingly.

On a recent trip to the grocery store, Molly Lixey, a former emergency room nurse in Saginaw, Michigan, told CNN she noticed a lot of people wearing gloves, which she thought was great.

But what wasn't so great? All the cross-contamination she saw.

In an off-the-cuff Facebook video, Lixey decided to demonstrate just how quick and easy it is to spread germs at a grocery store.

"I was doing some painting around the house and it hit me that paint would be a perfect medium to use to explain this (cross contamination)," she told CNN. "It terrifies me to think people believe they're safe only because they are wearing gloves and not have them be aware that they could still be harming themselves or others," she said.

We know that coronavirus can spread through sneezes and coughs, and new research shows it can be passed from talking, or possibly even just breathing, which makes passing germs from object to object that much easier.

In her video, Lixey simulates going to the grocery store and she starts off by putting gloves on her hands, grabbing her cell phone as she leaves her car, cleaning a shopping cart and grabbing some toilet paper. She uses a piece of cardboard as her cell phone and dips her fingers in a plate of paint to symbolize the germs on her hands as a result of grabbing toilet paper.

"But it's (the germs) on my gloves, that's fine right? It's on my gloves," she said in the video. "But now I'm walking along and my phone rings, so I've now touched my hands together a couple times, I reach for my phone and oh I have a text message from my husband."

Lixey continues to pretend she's walking through the grocery store and as she imitates picking up new items to put in her cart, she dips her fingers back into the paint to mimic the germs she's picking up throughout this process.

"I understand as a nurse I have had extensive training in the use of PPE, but many people in the general public have not," she said. "They are all so fearful right now they will do anything to protect themselves, but it's important they do so properly. "

Eventually, after picking up a simulated phone call, the paint winds up on her cheek, symbolizing the germs that would have traveled to her face. Even once she takes the gloves off, Lixey shows the paint had wound up on her makeshift phone, which she holds after taking the gloves off -- ultimately resulting in cross-contamination.

Her general message? "There's no point in wearing gloves, if you're not gonna wash your hands every time you touch something," she said in the video.

That's because whatever gets on the gloves would migrate to the phone if someone picked it up. Then unless the person disinfects the phone, the germs on it would travel to his or her hand once the gloves were off and the person touched the device.

Lixey currently works inside an infusion clinic at a doctor's office. She said if the virus continues to spread in her area more, she will go back to working in a hospital setting.

She isn't the only one taking to social media to educate on the importance of understanding how germs spread.

Hays Earls, a registered nurse in Dallas, Texas, made a TikTok video of an experiment she did to show her three-year-old son how germs stick to our hands and how washing them with soap removes them.

In the video, Earls' son dips his finger into a bowl of water with pepper sprinkled on the top. When he takes his finger out, it's covered in pepper, simulating how germs cling to skin. She then pumps some soap on a clean finger and as he dips that into the bowl, the pepper spreads away from his finger.

Earls said she's happy to pass the experiment onto other parents and that the visual lesson worked with her son. In fact, now her son wants to do the 'washing hands trick' every time they pass a sink.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
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