Masks? Handwashing? Sanitizer? — How to Protect Yourself from Coronaviruses | Summary and Q&A

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April 2, 2020
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Masks? Handwashing? Sanitizer? — How to Protect Yourself from Coronaviruses

TL;DR

Wearing face masks might not protect you, but homemade masks can reduce the germs you emit. Washing hands with soap and using hand sanitizer can kill the virus. Disinfecting surfaces regularly is important, and bleach may not be the best choice.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Do face masks protect you from the coronavirus?

Face masks, especially medical masks, are more effective in preventing sick individuals from spreading the virus rather than protecting healthy individuals. Homemade masks made from everyday materials can reduce the germs emitted by individuals who are not displaying symptoms.

Q: How does washing hands with soap help prevent the spread of the virus?

Washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds helps remove germs from the hands. Soap makes the skin slippery, allowing pathogens to rinse away easily. Soap can also kill certain types of germs, including coronaviruses, by ripping apart the fatty molecules surrounding them.

Q: What is the recommended alcohol content for hand sanitizers?

Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol to effectively kill coronavirus particles. It is important to ensure that hand sanitizers cover all the areas of the hands and are left on for at least 20 seconds to allow the alcohol to kill the germs.

Q: What are effective disinfectants for surfaces?

Chlorine bleach, alcohol-based wipes, and hydrogen peroxide are effective disinfectants. Chlorine bleach destroys microbes by its reactive chlorine components. Alcohol-based wipes and hydrogen peroxide produce reactive particles that can rip apart the outer membranes of the virus.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Wearing face masks, especially medical masks, may not effectively protect you from the virus as they are designed to prevent sick individuals from infecting others.

  • Homemade masks made from everyday items like T-shirts can reduce the germs emitted by individuals who are not showing symptoms of the virus.

  • Washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds can remove germs, while hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can kill coronavirus particles on the hands.

  • Disinfecting surfaces regularly is crucial as the virus can survive on surfaces like metal, glass, or plastic for 2-3 days. Chlorine bleach, alcohol-based wipes, and hydrogen peroxide are effective disinfectants.

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