Do you wipe down your groceries because of coronavirus? You may want to focus on something else
Coronavirus transmission experts recently told The Washington Post that people need to focus on bigger risks.
Questions have risen lately about what you should do about the novel coronavirus living on surfaces, and how to stay safe from it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the coronavirus spreading from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way.”
But recent research had people worried about the impact of surfaces. Researchers from the Australian science agency CSIRO recently conducted a study, which was published in Virology Journal, on how long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces like phones, glass, bank notes and cloth.
Basically, the study said the virus can survive for a significant time on those surfaces in room temperature.
- The study said: “These findings demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious for significantly longer time periods than generally considered possible. These results could be used to inform improved risk mitigation procedures to prevent the fomite spread of COVID-19.”
It prompted questions about how to consider surfaces during the pandemic. As Wired explained, people had a bit of a freakout in the beginning of the pandemic about making sure they’re wiping down everything to stay safe from the coronavirus. Of course, it never hurts to wipe down surfaces, screens and boxes to stay safe from the virus.
But experts have recently said there are much more important factors to consider than whether your pizza box got cleaned.
What experts say:
David Morens, a senior adviser to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, recently told The Washington Post that there are more important measures to worry about — like who you’re spending your time with and whether or not you’re bringing the virus into your home.
- “There’s just a lot of unnecessary worry about these things,” he said. “It’s like standing in the middle of a busy freeway with traffic all around you and asking, ‘What’s the chance I’m going to get hit by a meteor?’ Now there’s a chance, but it’s pretty low, and don’t you have other better things to worry about?”
- He said people should worry about contaminated surfaces in crowded public spaces, like a restroom at an airport.
- It’s important for people to never touch your face or anything above you’re neck when you’re one of those environments. You’ll also want to wear a mask and keep socially distant.
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told The Washington Post that “viruses have to have a host and they can’t replicate without one. So … the main place that’s going to be the source of virus in anybody’s household is going to be the people in it and not the surfaces or the physical environment.”
- “Even if there’s virus kicking around on certain things,” she said, “that risk can really be mitigated practically by washing your hands.”