Washing one's hands thoroughly and regularly is the best way to protect oneself and prevent transmission of the Coronavirus according to the USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the sudden surge in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus, washing one's hands thoroughly with soap and water has become all the more important.
The importance and the theory behind why people must thoroughly wash their hands has been explained on Twitter by scientist and Professor at esteemed John Hopkins University Karen Fleming in a series of tweets. Fleming claims that soap is an amazing weapon to fight against the virus that is present in all our homes.
In her tweets, Flemings goes into description about the anatomy and makeup of the virus and why soap is effective against it. Take a look at her tweets explaining the importance of washing one's hands thoroughly.
PSA for non-science folks: Wonder why everyone is emphasizing hand washing? Sounds banal, but soap really IS an amazing weapon that we all have in our homes. This is because coronavirus is an "enveloped" virus, which means that it has an outer lipid membrane layer.— Karen Fleming (@KarenFlemingPhD) February 28, 2020
Basically, it's surrounded by a fat layer. Washing your hands with soap and water has the ability to "dissolve" this greasy fatty layer and kill the virus. I'm told singing "Happy Birthday" twice is approximately how long we should all be scrubbing our hands with soap.— Karen Fleming (@KarenFlemingPhD) February 28, 2020
Plus, just imagine how much we will all laugh by singing happy birthday in the loo while we kill this bug!— Karen Fleming (@KarenFlemingPhD) February 28, 2020
Dr Fleming's post was uploaded on February 28 and has been tweeted 55,000 times. According to reports, many scientists believe that even if one does not have soap handy, they can use sanitizers because they are almost as effective.