Stop littering your masks and gloves

We are all currently living in a society where we are supposed to stay at home due to COVID-19.

Inevitably, there are times where we have to leave the comfort of our own homes to buy supplies like groceries, water or toilet paper.

As the Center for Disease Control has made recommendations for mask and glove usage, many people will litter the sidewalks, floors, and parking lots after using these items.

I can understand that not everyone would want to bring their used masks or gloves back into their car, since bacteria can begin to spread and eventually reach their homes.

But people are not the only ones at risk of coronavirus due to littering used gloves and masks on the floor.

Animals could mistake these items for food and could also get infected, since the litter would be scattered throughout the community.

Two pet cats in New York have already contracted SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 for humans) from their individual homes.

Regular house cats aren’t the only animals who can contract coronavirus either.

A tiger in a zoo in New York had also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, due to an employee that had COVID-19.

If a tiger enclosed in a zoo was able to contract a virus like this, why wouldn’t anyone else be able to?

Many believe that because they littered their gloves and masks, they are now safe from bringing any germs backs into their homes.

To these individuals, it seems easier to contribute to the spreading of the virus instead of minimizing it.

But in effort to reduce the broadening cases of COVID-19, there are a few things that people and stores can both do.

One of the main things that people can start doing is throwing away their used gloves and masks in the trash before leaving the parking lot or general area of the store.

I know that the trash cans might be a few extra feet away, but it is worth walking that small distance to actually lower the chance of spreading infection.

At the same time, stores or cities can start adding a few additional trash cans around store exits or within parking lots.

If there are a few extra trash cans around these areas, people would feel more inclined to properly dispose their used items.

Whenever I visit my neighborhood grocery store, the amount of gloves and masks on the floor is very noticeable.

When I shop at Costco or Food 4 Less, which have extra trash cans throughout their parking lots, there are barely any used masks and gloves on the floor.

While it can seem that the easiest way to get rid of used gloves and masks is to throw them on the floor, it is still littering and ultimately putting other people at risk of being infected.

Essential workers, community members that shops at such stores, and even animals are at risk for being infected, all because people will not walk the few extra feet to throw away their gloves and masks.

If there were a few additional trash cans around such parking lots, it would greatly lower the amount of trash on the floor and create a safer place where people could go and shop for their necessities.

While this might not be a complete solution to end littering or lowering the risk COVID-19 infections, at least it’s a start.

At the end of the day, everyone wants quarantine to end so they can be with friends and family again.

Not littering used masks and gloves is crucial in order to achieve this, and it can reduce the spread of potential infections, too.

Ending quarantine and reducing the spread of coronavirus can’t happen if we all don’t take these first few steps to stop this.