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

From cleaning your home to buying groceries, this is how we can practice social distancing and stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 6, 2020 8:51 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2020 8:51 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: 37542

Reported Deaths: 1272
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds310258
DeSoto205020
Madison156039
Jones125450
Harrison123116
Rankin117320
Forrest107143
Neshoba105077
Lauderdale97581
Scott83715
Jackson80919
Washington78214
Copiah69016
Leake65120
Lee64023
Grenada63412
Oktibbeha63228
Lamar6127
Warren61222
Holmes60842
Wayne57519
Yazoo5747
Leflore56956
Lowndes55317
Lincoln54136
Pike52821
Lafayette5274
Sunflower5269
Monroe47239
Panola4696
Covington4665
Simpson4613
Bolivar42818
Tate41813
Attala39024
Pontotoc3906
Adams38820
Newton37910
Marion35612
Claiborne31811
Pearl River31732
Marshall3074
Winston30513
Chickasaw30419
Jasper2956
Walthall2899
Noxubee2819
Clay26811
Smith26112
Union25811
Coahoma2376
Clarke23425
Lawrence2182
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie2064
Montgomery1903
Carroll18911
Kemper18414
Humphreys17810
Calhoun1765
Hancock15813
Itawamba1528
Tippah15111
Jefferson1353
Webster13511
George1313
Jefferson Davis1294
Prentiss1294
Tunica1273
Amite1183
Greene11810
Alcorn1132
Tishomingo1111
Quitman1041
Wilkinson1049
Perry954
Stone802
Choctaw764
Franklin582
Sharkey520
Benton490
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 58225

Reported Deaths: 1183
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7186174
Mobile5206147
Montgomery4690114
Tuscaloosa277754
Madison27299
Marshall209012
Shelby182026
Lee171637
Morgan14296
Baldwin139611
Walker112635
DeKalb11187
Etowah110414
Elmore110124
Dallas102810
Franklin96016
Unassigned81428
Russell7340
Autauga73317
Chambers69332
Limestone6914
Cullman6896
Houston6587
Butler65631
St. Clair6463
Tallapoosa64669
Lauderdale6337
Colbert5826
Calhoun5776
Escambia5228
Lowndes49723
Pike4915
Jackson4722
Coffee4534
Covington43913
Talladega4337
Dale4142
Barbour4133
Bullock38010
Hale36723
Marengo36411
Chilton3563
Blount3441
Marion33214
Clarke3296
Wilcox3258
Winston3157
Sumter30413
Pickens2806
Randolph27910
Monroe2773
Perry2632
Conecuh2478
Bibb2322
Macon2279
Choctaw22112
Greene2019
Henry1613
Washington1588
Lawrence1510
Crenshaw1403
Cherokee1357
Geneva1060
Lamar951
Clay922
Fayette902
Coosa691
Cleburne531
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