ROANOKE, Va. – Shelves that were once full of hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies are now empty. People in Roanoke are wiping out pharmacies and grocery stores to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.
Roanoke resident Mary Grewe made sure to stock up.
“I’m a little terrified. My husband thinks I’m overreacting a little bit," Grewe said. “I went to Kroger the other day and they only had three bottles left and of course, I bought all three. We have them in our garage, in our car, and in the house, at work.”
Ariel Salisbury works as a nurse and said she’s also noticed the stores have slim pickings.
“There’s not as many available as there used to be,” Salisbury said.
If you can’t find sanitizers in stores, you can make it yourself. You only need two ingredients: aloe vera and isopropyl (or rubbing) alcohol. Use two parts alcohol to one part aloe vera. You can also add some essential oils so the it doesn’t dry out your skin. But remember, the CDC says alcohol-based sanitizers need to contain at least 60 percent alcohol concentration or else they won’t kill germs. The isopropyl alcohol has to have a 99 percent concentration, as lower concentrations of alcohol won’t be sufficient to reach the 60 percent threshold that the CDC recommends.
The CDC also says alcohol-based sanitizers don’t kill all germs, especially if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy. The most effective way to prevent spreading germs is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
“Hand-washing is definitely number one," Salisbury said.