By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Did you have fun reading the characteristics of COVID 19 from last week’s posting? Great if you feel you know a little more about this hot topic. This week, I will present to you information that might be floating around that are not evidence-based. Knowing that is not true is just as important as accessing information that is scientific or from trust worthy source.
Here are statements that you want to filter out from your “It is true list”. The response was from a dear colleague who is a pulmonologist and will be a fellow specializing infection disease.
*If you shake your bed linen or clean your house with a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
-> not sure how pertinent this is… Usually, viruses don’t land on clothes out of nowhere… If it is the towel that you sneezed/coughed into, don’t throw them around…
* The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars. They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.
-> Even if this is true, I am not sure how dry air affects our immune system on nasal mucosa. Overall, this is probably not important. Rather than killing the virus, better to encourage ventilation of the room like opening windows.
* UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.
-> Not sure whether you can disinfect and reuse a mask with UV light… It is true UV light can be used to disinfect the patient room in the hospital.
* The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
-> True, but it can be carried on healthy skin.
* Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
->I think this depends on acidity of vinegar, but if you could use soap it is better.
* NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, serve. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.
->There are vodkas that are more concentrated than 65%… But it is probably better not to use spirits/vodka.
* LISTERINE IF IT SERVES! It is 65% alcohol.
->I don’t think this is true.
* The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.
->This is true.
* You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.
-> This may be a better practice to do so, but I don’t think you have to.
* You have to moisturize dry hands from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.
->Not sure if this is true at all. There are studies that wet hands carry more bacteria.
* Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.
->This is true of any of hand hygiene practices.
Your homework assignment from the Care Ministry this week: identify a health practice that you make sense to you.
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