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National Handwashing Awareness Week

Perhaps the biggest lesson to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the value of handwashing.

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to protect yourself from getting sick and stop spreading germs to others. Amid a worldwide health crisis, handwashing became one of three major tenets to avoid infection, along with mask-wearing and social distancing.

The Problem With Dirty Hands

Germs that cause infections (especially those of the respiratory or diarrheal variety) are easily spread from one person to the next. Contamination may be an indirect consequence of touching common surfaces or objects — grabbing a door handle, for example, right after someone else who previously sneezed into their hand.

Germs on your hands (or on foods prepared by unwashed hands) are particularly dangerous once they come in contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, as those are the main sites for infection to enter the body. Even if you are being vigilant, not everyone else may be: the CDC reports that only 31 percent of men and 65 percent of women wash their hands with soap and water following restroom use.

The Importance of Handwashing

Data on the relationship between infection prevention and handwashing shows that handwashing alone can reduce the risk of respiratory illness by upwards of 20 percent. In addition, washing hands with soap and water could prevent an estimated 50 percent of diarrheal disease-associated deaths— this is because so many foodborne disease outbreaks are caused by dirty hands.

Handwashing and Kids

Kids are as susceptible to germs as adults, but their hygiene standards are often underdeveloped. In fact, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia — two categories of illness that can be prevented by hand washing — are among the deadliest afflictions for kids under five, causing over 20 percent of childhood deaths around the globe.

Henry the Hand is a beloved mascot for introducing infection prevention protocols in classrooms, childcare programs, and other public places where children gather.


Roasted Salmon with Crispy Potatoes and Broccoli


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillet
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 clove garlic


  • Step 1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the broccoli, potatoes, and onion with the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Step 2. Season the salmon with 1/4 teaspoons each salt and pepper, nestle it among the vegetables and continue roasting until the vegetables are golden brown and tender and the salmon is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  • Step 3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic. Serve with the fish and the vegetables.


Happy Holidays!

Sending you joy and goodwill to carry through the holidays and into the bright new year.