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Everyday depressing news and views about Covid-19 cover print and digital spaces. Cases are in surge and unreasonable fear sweeps the nation and beyond despite having and easily available simple solution -the soap – critical and effective to fight the epidemic if it is.
Viruses like the novel coronavirus, the flu, and the common cold are commonly referred to as- Respiratory viruses and can spread via close contact. A simple hand touch of an infected person can transmit viral particles stick to the hand and a simple handshake can transfer them to an unsuspecting hand extended for a friendly shake. Hands act like sticky traps for viruses and they’ll stay on our hands, and enter our body the moment we touch our face.
In the war against the Virus, our hands are the front lines and the simple protection is to wash hands in regular intervals with soap to clean our hands and if the soap is not available using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is an alternative.
Almost all leading doctors, specialists and health institutions prioritize soap yet interestingly people have been stocking up and hoarding sanitizers which is absurd. Sanitizer is potioned by manufacturers like a modern-day, scientific, and more clinical alternative to soap. But the fact is soap — all sorts of it: liquid, solid, scented, is the only effective tool, and even more effective than any hand sanitizer. As per Palli Thordarson, a chemistry professor at the University of New South Wales,“ Soap is almost like a demolition team breaking down a building and taking all the bricks away”.
Soap or sodium Laureth sulfate is a common word for what chemists refer to amphiphiles -Molecules with dual nature. One end of the molecule is attracted to water and repelled by fats and proteins. The other side of the molecule is attracted to fats and is repelled by water. This dual-nature chemical construction makes soap so effective.
When we pour some oil into water, oil pools up in a mass and floats because fats don’t mix with water. But when we mix some soap oil disperse. That occurs because the soap is attracted to the grease and breaks it up, pulling it into the water.
Coronaviruses are like the oil, encoded by RNA and surrounded by a coat of fat and protein. Thordarson refers to them as “nano-sized grease balls.” And grease balls, are something soap loves to terminate.
The soap takes care of the virus much like it takes care of the oil in the water. “It’s almost like a crowbar; it starts to pull all the things apart,” Thordarson says. Fortunately, the chemical bonds holding the virus together aren’t very strong, so this intrusion is enough to break the virus’s coat. “You pull the virus apart, you make it soluble in water, and it disintegrates,” he says.“You do need a bit of time for all the soap to interact back and forth with the virus particle,” he says. Twenty seconds should do the trick just fine.
The hand sanitizer can destroy viruses effectively due to high alcohol content. The alcohol molecules too are somewhat amphiphiles,”. But, you need a very high concentration of alcohol to achieve the same effect and it can be a bit harsher on the skin.
Experts recommend a sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol, so avoid sanitizers or wipes not meeting the standards. They are useful but in ideal conditions. If hands are wet or sweaty sanitizers can get diluted reducing effectiveness and always remember that they can not clean your hands of sticky grease to which viruses have an affinity to stick.
Soap never fail, irrespective of its formulation. What you need is a little time to play with the foam and it will do its job effectively.
He who creates a poison also has the cure.
He who creates a virus also has the antidote.
He who creates chaos also has the ability to create peace.
He who sparks hate also has the ability to transform it to love.
He who creates misery also has the ability to destroy it with kindness.
He who creates sadness also has the ability to covert it to happiness.
He who creates darkness can also be awakened to produce illumination.
He who spreads fear can also be shaken to spread comfort.
Any problems created by the left hand of man,
Can also be solved with the right,
For he who manifests anything,
Also has the ability to
- Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
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