More Americans are washing their hands than they did in 2019 according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there is one demographic that isn't part of this pandemic-inspired trend: young white men, the CDC said.
"Men, young adults aged 18–24 years, and non-Hispanic White (White) adults were less likely to remember to wash hands in multiple situations," the study's authors write. The study was conducted from October 2019 to June 2020.
The author's expounded on its finding that men wash their hands less: "Regardless of year, men were significantly less likely than were women to remember to wash hands before eating at a restaurant, before preparing food, after using the bathroom at home, and after experiencing respiratory symptoms."
And young people still appear not to have received the message about hand-washing compared to their middle-aged counterparts, according to the study: "In addition, young adults (aged 18–24 years) were less likely to remember to wash their hands before eating in a restaurant, before food preparation, and after having respiratory symptoms than were adults aged 45–74 years."
As for a breakdown by race, the study's authors concluded, "compared with White participants, Black participants were more likely to remember to wash their hands before eating at home, before eating in a restaurant, after using the bathroom at home, and after experiencing respiratory symptoms. Hispanic participants were more likely than were White participants to remember to wash their hands before eating at home, before eating at a restaurant, and after experiencing respiratory symptoms, regardless of year."
The good news -- kind of -- though? About 75 percent of Americans are washing their hands after coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, handling food or using the restroom, according to the study by the CDC's COVID-19 Response Team. And people were twice as like to wash their hands after the aforementioned activities.