Millions of people can’t wash their hands for 20 seconds—for lack of water

Clarissa Pharr
Millions of people can’t wash their hands for 20 seconds—for lack of water

For all the uncertainty that characterizes the global Covid-19 pandemic, the most common directions for protecting ourselves from catching and spreading it have remained the same from the beginning: Avoid unnecessary contact with others, and wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. There’s virtually no plan in place for asylum seekers or the millions living in refugee camps concentrated in Europe and the Middle East who lack running water and other basic resources, much less space to practice the social distancing needed to curb the pandemic. Homeless shelters often don’t have a reliable water source.