As we toasted our glasses into the New Year, the year that promised all of us so much, we now find ourselves facing a new and different reality. One full of restrictions, unwanted changes and frustrations. It‘s not what we wished or signed up for, but sometimes life has this way of surprising us in unexpected ways, as usual.
A test of patience and will power, and yet here we are, the only ones in control of our own actions: to Stay at Home!
But here comes the next part, which is applicable to so many of us right now: instead of welcoming a colourful and sunny spring into our lives, we were forced to almost instantly make drastic changes in our lives: give up regular routines, daily social interaction, working, visiting friends and family, going out for diner, physical activity etc.
So in a time when the world is being attacked by an invisible enemy, where does that leave our nails?
Having your nails done is a pampering process, you get to spend enjoyable moments and have a good laugh during your appointment, and then you get showered with compliments for the weeks to come.
But how has this now changed since we‘ve been urged to stay at home?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is actually recommending basic hand and nail hygiene routine, keeping our nails short and avoiding biting. Sounds easier said than done, but these people sure know what they‘re talking about! Think of the consequences that come with nail biting and why it is crucial you keep your hands away from your mouth: nail biting can not only cause nail deformation at the level of the matrix (nail root) and damage your teeth, but it can also leave open wounds around your nails and allow germs to infect the tissue.
Caring for your nails during the COVID-19 pandemic
Longer nails can facilitate the spread of viruses. Although they can harbour germs, it is still being studied how long the COVID-19 virus can live on nails and skin. Certainly long enough to allow for spread if we don‘t clean our hands and nails properly. We should adopt the recommendation given to hospital workers: nails trimmed so that the nail doesn‘t reach over the top of the fingertip. I suggest you invested in a regular, cheap nail brush, a double whammy for your nail cleaning routine: white, clean nails and virus-free. Don‘t forget to moisturise and use cuticle oil on repeat: skin cracks from having dry hands will be more exposed to germs and viruses.
If you still have gel or normal polish on, I would highly recommend you removed them. The CDC advises that healthcare providers don‘t wear long or artificial nails because germs and viruses could hide in cracks of chipped gel or nail polish even after hand washing. Yuck! So why shouldn‘t we take on the same advice? Forget peeling them off with your teeth! If you haven‘t already removed your old gel polish manicure, check out my step-by-step post on how to safely do it from home.
You have to stop biting your nails NOW. With all the stress, anxiety and boredom that come with this new virus, we have to be stronger. Chewing or putting your nails in your mouth will only put bacteria in your mouth. Respiratory viruses can‘t enter our bodies unless we let them in: through our eyes, nose or mouth. So think of ways to distract your hands from going towards your face, mouth and eyes. Make a list of activities and things to keep you preoccupied during house lockdown. Setting a healthy routine in times like this will get you through it. Give the ol‘ mighty Google a quick search.
And what better time to start quitting bad habits than now?
I‘m already giving up Nutella and replacing it with pickled gherkins. Don‘t let the pandemic dictate you completely for the next few months, you make it your own and decide for yourself whether it‘s worth to willingly make a change in your life.
We might not realise it now, but we will see changes in the world and in ourselves once this is all over. A new generation wiser than before.
Keep your chin up, but don‘t touch it!