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Hand sanitizer is in short supply and high demand, as people realize the time to curb their disgusting hygiene habits — and also the spread of coronavirus — was yesterday. Countries all around the world have reported shortages, with South Korea slapping hefty fines and even prison sentences on hand-sanitizer hoarders, and Thailand directing citizens to make their own cleansing product. To help mitigate France’s shortage, LVMH — a massive luxury-goods conglomerate encompassing Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy, and more — announced Sunday that three of its largest perfume factories would pivot to hand-sanitizer production.
The directive reportedly came from LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault: Starting Monday, facilities that produce fragrances and cosmetics for Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Givenchy will switch over to hydroalcoholic gel, which will be given to French health authorities and hospitals free of charge.
“Through this initiative,” the company’s statement read, “LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus.”
According to the New York Times, LVMH anticipates it will make 12 tons of hand sanitizer within its first week, and promised in a statement that it would “continue to honor this commitment for as long as necessary.” The Guardian reports that, while France has not yet run out of sanitizer, supplies are “strained.” In France, as in the U.S. and many other countries, the product has reportedly been subject to wild markups. The French government instituted a price cap and some pharmacies have implemented one-bottle-per-person rules, according to the Guardian.
While hand sanitizer is a valuable commodity for disinfecting on the go — and something you can make at home, if you follow specific instructions — consistently washing your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, is the best option of all. Scrub those mitts, keep your distance from others, and — if you can manage it — stay home.