Look, we're all adjusting to the new reality of life in coronavirus times. Things are different now. Before March, if you kept a box of rubber gloves at home, you were almost certainly a serial killer. Wearing a mask on public property was a crime under state law. Handwashing — if you're really being honest with yourself — lasted maybe seven seconds.
Yes, we're all trying to learn the rules of pandemic-era best practices — politicians included. But a number of elected officials in Florida have very publicly been examples of what not to do if you're trying to stop the spread of a deadly virus. Case in point: At a press conference last Wednesday in Miami Beach, Florida's top official, Gov. Ron DeSantis, was photographed wearing a single blue glove — and then interlocking the fingers of his clean, bare hand with those of the dirty gloved hand.
He wasn't the only one. During the press conference, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber could be seen touching his face with his gloved hands, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez opened a water bottle while wearing a pair of gloves. Jared Moskowitz, director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management, made the same one-gloved mistake as DeSantis.
At today’s #COVID19 briefing at the Miami Beach Convention Center, FL's governor, Miami Dade's mayor, Miami Beach's mayor, and FL's emergency manager demonstrated the dangers of cross contamination wearing gloves: pic.twitter.com/RXLHBFW3Ss— Carlos Suarez (@CarlosNBC6) April 8, 2020
The PPE problems weren't limited to that press conference.
A day later, Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo posted a video of himself fingering the inside of his facemask with gloved hands.
Les dejamos comida en las puertas a los residentes de Hoffman Gardens. Hoy, le llevamos alimentos a 260 familias en el #Distrito13. No hay nada más gratificante que ayudar a nuestros residentes más vulnerables. pic.twitter.com/1Xr8mz8aUt— Commissioner Esteban Bovo (@CommBovo) April 9, 2020
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And City of Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes posted a photo of himself grabbing the inside of his facemask with a pair of gloved hands at an event on April 4:
Today’s turnout to our Farm Share food distribution was definitely an eye opening experience to the large need and struggles our community is going through during this crisis. People were lining up by 1:30 am and we had reached maximum capacity of 500 cars before 7 am. pic.twitter.com/OBYSCBSTuG— Manolo Reyes (@Manolo4Miami) April 4, 2020
In case you find yourself as confused as these politicians do about how to properly wear a pair of protective gloves, several healthcare workers have posted tutorials on YouTube in recent weeks. In one video, a Michigan nurse made ingenious use of paint to demonstrate what happens when you touch your face and use your cell phone while wearing a pair of contaminated gloves. (Spoiler alert: You absolutely play yourself.)
At the end of the day, having poor form with your protective gear isn't a crime. We get it — it might be easier to quit smoking than it is to quit touching your face. But if you're an elected official trying to lead your community through a global health crisis, maybe don't stick your grimy gloves all over your mug when the cameras are rolling. And God forbid, don't post a video of it on your own social media channels.