Worldwide Pandemic and People’s Handwashing Habits

The most surprising part of the article is the fact that changes between 2019 and 2020 were not as significant as I expected them to be. In my personal experience, the occurrence of a worldwide pandemic drastically changed my handwashing habit to the point that I can confidently recall them. The article states, “they found that young adults ages 18-24 were less likely to report remembering to wash their hands before eating in a restaurant, before preparing food, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses when compared with older adults” (Daily Briefing, 2020, para. 12). In other words, a younger generation, who are supposed to be the most alert and informed about the virus due to social media use, were on the same level of handwashing awareness as older adults. However, I was not surprised by the fact that single individuals are less likely to wash their hands than couples (Daily Briefing, 2020). It is probably and partly due to having not to worry about other person’s germ when you are living alone.

It is important to note that a “percent improvement” is not always a perfect indicator of good performance. The main reason is due to the fact that percentage represents a portion of something, which can be either the total or original values. In other words, it might be more accurate to present actual or raw numbers alongside percentages in order to show the validity of the data. For example, there were two cars in 2010 and ten cars in 2020, where one car crashed each year. The percentage improvement from 2010 to 2020 would be equal to a 40% drop in car crashes. The problem is that presenting data in percentages only does not reveal information about the total number of cars, which drastically increased.

Reference

Daily Briefing. (2020). How America is washing its hands (or isn’t), in 5 charts. Advisory Board. 

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