Due to the COVID-19 pandemic hospitals around the globe are experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment, and are conserving and reusing supplies as much as possible. Some medical facilities have asked for donations while others are making their own equipment. The last thing you would expect to see during this time is protective equipment on the ground. Right? It turns out that a new horror has arisen. There are gloves on the ground. Everywhere.
An improperly discarded glove lurks in the corner of a hospital elevator
Gloves on the Floor in The Hospital
Gloves have long been tossed on the floor in hospitals. It’s been a personal pet peeve since I started working in hospitals 14 years ago. Gloves can often be found littering hospital hallways, elevators, and even the grounds outside. I have so many questions. Why are they there? Who are these glove droppers? Don't they know they're going to kill us all?? Since the pandemic began, the quantity of gloves on the ground has only increased. It’s gone from a pet peeve to something that makes me want to pull out my hair and scream.
More gloves than ever are being dropped on hospital floors
Gloves on The Ground Everywhere
Unfortunately, dropping gloves on the ground has spread like the pandemic. Gloves now litter streets, parking lots, and stores. You can’t go to the grocery store without seeing at least one glove on the ground.
An abandoned glove in a grocery store parking lot
It’s gone from an annoyance to a real problem. It’s enough of an issue that the Teton County Recycling Center in Jackson Hole had to publish a notice asking people to stop throwing gloves on the ground. WRRV radio in Hudson Valley also begged listeners to appropriately dispose of their gloves. We shouldn’t have to do this.
Could this pop of color be a sign of spring?
Throwing Gloves on the Ground is Nasty
If the coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to several days according to the World Health Organization, then a bunch of gloves littering the ground is a great way to keep the pandemic going. Why haven’t people realized this? If someone knows enough to wear gloves to protect themselves, it’s not hard to conclude that the virus might be lurking on the gloves. It’s thoughtless to throw them on the ground! Someone could step on the glove, get the virus on their shoe, then bring it home - all because you nasty.
All of the gloves on the ground are driving people crazy
Please Discard of Your Gloves Properly
People are going nuts over improperly discarded gloves. Not only is throwing gloves on the ground disgusting, it’s also bad for the environment, as one Staten Island shopper told SILive, “It’s unsanitary, rude, and selfish, not to mention harmful to our sewer system when it rains.” It’s also really wasteful. To pick up those gloves properly, someone else has to put on another pair of gloves. If there is a glove shortage, I’m blaming you, glove droppers. Consider how fortunate you are to even have gloves right now. Please, for the good of all humanity, discard your gloves properly. It’s the right thing to do.
This article was published in Medium 4/2/20.