The following is an excerpt from Discover Magazine.
Does Coronavirus Live on Surfaces — and What’s the Risk of Infection?
Some experts say measures such as sanitizing your groceries are overkill. Just make sure to wash your hands instead.
In the last week, more than 20 million people have watched a video of Jeffrey VanWingen, a family medicine physician in Michigan, unpacking his groceries. He divides his countertop with a long strip of blue tape into two halves: dirty and clean. He then drenches a paper towel with Lysol and wipes down bags of chips and plastic-wrapped heads of broccoli before he transfers them over to the “clean” side. He even scrubs apples and oranges with soap.
VanWingen does this, he says in the video, because while the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, “there is a precedent that we use in the medical field called sterile technique that can reduce risk.” But some microbiologists say that some of this advice is overkill, or even potentially harmful.
“Telling people that they need to prepare their groceries the way a surgeon prepares for an operation alarmed a lot of people,” says Don Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University who posted a thread on Twitter critiquing the video. “People have reached out to say, ‘That was making me so anxious, I was so worried, and you sort of injected some common sense,’” adds Schaffner...
...And while scientists are still learning how long the virus can remain dangerous on different surfaces, some say disinfecting everything you come across is overkill. They argue that you could achieve the same results by simply washing your hands. (Continued...)
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