Across the world, people are being asked to change their lifestyles in a way that just a few weeks ago would have been completely unimaginable, and perhaps even laughable. The most important measures against Covid-19 have to do with maintaining a distance from other people. If you don’t go near other people, then you’ll be unable to transmit the virus to them, and the spread of the disease will be limited. The best way to protect the people in your life is to stay away from them to the greatest possible extent.
Another intervention, recommended by the government, is hand-washing. Hands should be washed over twenty seconds, according to a particular sort of technique that most of us weren’t familiar with until this began.
Every virus that finds its way onto your hands is protected by a coat of protein called the envelope protein. The soap breaks down that layer as it would any other form of grime, and thus kills the virus. For this reason, regular hand-washing is critical.
But what if you’re an essential worker, and you are unable to work from home? You need a mobile solution that does the same job, and which can be stuffed into the bag you take to work. There’s some confusion as to what these various portable sanitary devices actually do to the bug. Let’s take a look at some of them.
As the outbreak came about, sales of hand sanitizer have rocketed – to the point where essential staff like nurses and doctors are struggling to get hold of it. The essential difference is alcohol. Alcohol attacks the envelope protein in the same way that soap does. The stronger the alcohol, the more effective the sanitiser. Use it to cover your entire hand, including between the knuckles and under the fingernails.
Tissues don’t do anything in and of themselves. However, you’ll need them to wipe up excess fluid and sanitiser when there’s nothing else available. Wet hands are better able to incubate harmful pathogens, and thus having a means of drying out can be useful.
Covid-19 is not bacteria, and therefore you might be forgiven for thinking that antibacterial wipes are totally ineffective. But this isn’t always the case – many products marketed as antibacterial are, in actuality, more general-purpose disinfectants that will be effective against viruses, too. Check the label carefully before purchasing, and use them to wipe down any tabletops, handrails and door handles that you might come into contact with.