The coronavirus is so new we don’t know a lot about it yet. That’s caused the experts to go back and forth and back again on how the virus spreads.
They’ve changed their minds so often about what can help cut down on transmission that all of our heads are spinning.
Who can forget the initial advice that masks don’t work for the average Joe, for example? They’ve been backtracking from that ever since.
Today, we know for sure that while masks aren’t perfect, they sure can help cut down on the spread of the virus. And there’s plenty of research to back it up.
But that’s not the only factor where new research has caused the official stance to waver. There’s another one, and it’s related to the biggest news about the coronavirus in recent weeks.
Turns out the most important detail we’ve learned about how the virus SPREADS and INFECTS just might be lulling us into a false sense of security.
So let me stop the spin and give you what you need to know to protect yourself and your family from this still very real threat.
It’s easy, in this case. You just have to make sure you don’t ease up.
The coronavirus has some skin in the game
The most significant coronavirus discovery over the summer was that the virus is airborne. That, of course, simply means it’s spread mostly through the air we breathe.
People who carry the virus exhale it, and healthy people inhale it and become infected.
The small silver lining to that discovery had to do with surface spread.
Some experts said that picking up the virus from surfaces might not be quite as big a threat as we feared it could be initially. You know, back when we were practically bathing in hand sanitizer and eying every piece of mail with suspicion.
But surfaces aren’t totally safe, of course. Touching something with the coronavirus on it and touching your face could still spread it. And a new report shows one surface we ALL need to focus on. It’s one where the virus could be hiding in plain sight for HOURS at a time.
It’s not your mail or the latest Amazon package to arrive. But it IS in front of you right now. It’s your own skin.
Hand washing wipes out the virus
Back in spring, we were washing our hands until they turned raw. Some brands of soap are still out of stock in stores as a result.
The news that the virus is airborne… along with natural fatigue over time… caused some of us to ease up on our hand washing routine. But the new study shows why you need to get back to the old scrub a dub dub.
Because research shows, the coronavirus can live on the surface of your skin for as long as NINE HOURS. To put that in perspective, the common influenza A virus can survive for just a fraction of that time, dying off within two.
Here’s the good news. The coronavirus is very easy to kill. The new study finds that on the skin, both influenza A and the coronavirus are wiped out within 15 seconds with hand sanitizer containing at least 80 percent alcohol.
The study didn’t test soap and water. But we know from previous research that it’s even MORE effective.
So it’s time to recommit to your old hand-washing routine…
- wet your hands with warm water
- apply the soap
- scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing
Wash your hands whenever you’ve been outside of the house. And also, give them a good scrub after handling anything outside your home (or bringing in mail and packages). When you’re out and about, hand sanitizer will do in a pinch until you can get to a sink for a good scrub down.
All that careful attention to clean mitts has a huge side bonus. I wrote about another danger lurking on your hands a few months ago. You can learn all about this dangerous contaminant right here.