31 Mar Hand Washing Vs Coronavirus
Simple yet effective
Without sounding overdramatic, I am sure you would agree that we are currently experiencing a time like none of us have experienced before. The reason for this of course is due to the current pandemic that engulfs the world; the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Along with social distancing we are also being asked to up our hygiene level and a simple way we have been told to do this is by washing our hands with soap. A question this can lead to is, how does soap stop the spread of a virus that so far has no known cure/vaccine?
There are 7 things to understand about Viruses and Soap:
- A virus can remain on surfaces for up to 72 hours
- Our skin is an ideal surface for viruses so when we touch other surfaces containing virus particles, the particles can attach to the skin
- If we then touch our faces, especially our eyes, nostrils and mouth there is a chance we can get infected
- Some particles that hold the virus together are made from molecules called lipids
- Soap contains molecules that can dissolve this chain of lipids
- Once that chain dissolve the virus becomes inactive and is no longer able to stick to your skin
- Water will then be able to remove the virus particles and thus reduce the chance spread
What about alcohol sanitisers?:
Whilst they have a similar effect on the virus, you need to make sure your hand is fully covered (or fully immersed) for brief period whereas with soap you only need a little amount to fully cover your hands and with the action of the water you further get rid of the particles. But there is nothing stopping you from using both (apart possibly from the current price mark up and limited availability of sanitiser!)
When you wash your hands, do make sure you hand is fully covered in soap up to the wrist and between the fingers and knuckles, for duration of 20 seconds or happy birthday twice!
Keep strong, keep well!