A STUDY ON PATTERN OF FACEMASK WEARING AND HANDWASHING TO PREVENT COVID-19 TRANSMISSION AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS AMONG DAILY WAGE WORKERS
Vivek Joseph Varughese, *Sowparnika Treasa Sabu and Vignesh Krishnan Nagesh
Introduction: Our world has been literally stunned by the SARS Covid-19 virus, and humanity is trying hard to get things back to normal. As it is well known to us, the pathogen being a virus, treatment options are minimal and managements are mostly focussed on symptomatic relief, and the best cure we have is prevention. The vaccines are the definitive answer, but it would require a substantial time period for it’s coverage to become effective enough, and wearing masks and handwashing remains the best options we have. Most of the variations in the intensity of the disease spread, outbreaks and resolution of the disease load are all closely associated to the effectiveness of the practices of handwashing and mask wearing. So at the moment, we need to have a clear picture of populations that are failing to effectively practice it, reasons which may be leading to it, and factors that are leading to it. Only with this clear picture at hand of knowing where exactly we are going weak, can we strengthen our fortresses against an enemy we cant see with eyes. Methodology: Cross sectional study design based on patient interviews between January and March of 2021. The participants were randomly selected and interviewed. Since the setting of the pandemic did place restrictions on effectively interviewing subjects in person, the study utilised social media platforms to extract information from the study subjects. A bivariate analysis was employed to study the socio demographic patterns of mask wearing and hand washing being practiced among daily wage workers in Kerala. Discussion and Results: The study results were in line with the psychological effects expected during the pandemic and fear of disease and death. A statistically significant difference was found between the trends of handwashing and mask wearing amongst married and unmarried workers, and this was, as expected, attributed to their realisation of being the support system of the family and not wanting to fall ill to the disease, and in the worst case, have serious health consequences. More than 90% of the study subjects did practice mask wearing and handwashing diligently because of the fear of the disease and believed that these practices could protect them from the illness. Another 90% of study subjects wore masks and washed hands frequently for they did not want their region of residence to be declared as a contamination zone and closed off. 82% of the study subjects stuck to the practice because of governmental pressure.
Keywords: As it is well known to us, the pathogen being a virus, treatment options are minimal and managements are mostly focussed on symptomatic relief, and the best cure we have is prevention.
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