Tired of washing your hands for 20 seconds each time? Fingers starting to prune or feel like sandpaper?
Please don’t stop!
The world is counting on you to help stop the spread of Covid-19, the deadly new disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
Take heart that while you’re scrubbing, you’re also killing off a host of other nasty bacteria and potentially lethal viruses that have plagued humans for centuries — including influenza and a number of different coronaviruses.
It is believed amongst the Scientists that even with the best and most expensive research available, a vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, is at least A YEAR away. The very same Scientists also say that the worst enemy of the virus is that cheap SOAP by your sink!
That’s because of simple chemistry. In soap lather, a combination of molecules trap the viral matter along with grease, oil, dirt and rinse them down the drain. The soaps we use contain a class of compounds called surfactants, which can neutralize germs in our skin such as the present corona viruses.
COVID19 spreads through the air in the form of small particles that an infected person near you breathed, sneezed, coughed, or let loose while talking. They can enter your body through the eyes, mouth, or nose.
Recent findings also suggest that those germs can also survive hours, even days, when they land on objects made of plastic, metal, and cardboard. So the virus can also be contracted by transporting germs from such contaminated objects into your body after you touch your face.
Hence the public health officials have pushed hand-washing as one of the best ways to protect against COVID-19.
But it has to be done the right way. The gold standard involves scrubbing your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds.
20 seconds of time allows soap to form lather that contains pin-like surfactant molecules. These pointed molecules readily interact and attach with other similar biological materials, such as oils, fats, that primarily makeup the outer membrane of coronaviruses.
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The 20 seconds of rubbing and lathering our hands with soap causes these surfactant molecules to encapsulate and carry the viral debris away from our hands, with the help of water.
In simpler words, soap molecules basically make the insoluble viral molecules easily soluble in water and thus transportable off of your hands and down your drain!
But remember that your hands have many surfaces and parts to clean individually like palms, wrinkles, fingernails, between fingers, under rings, bandaids, etc, and the lather needs to cover all of them to capture the germs within. If you are doing it right, 20 seconds of time allows for enough time to be thorough, and for soap molecules to do their job on the entire hand.
Hand wash lesson by the little master Sachin Tendulkar. Watch here:
Remember that it takes time to clean all those surfaces effectively. If you try to do it in half that time, you’re probably not going to effectively clean all of the viruses!
All hand soaps do basically the same thing in terms of cleaning because they all contain surfactants material.
We can all beat the fast spreading COVID19 amongst us all humans by simply washing our hands with soap frequently and each time for about 20 seconds!
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. How long is 20 seconds? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice!