The situation we are living in these days is unprecedented. A new disease called COVID-19 is spreading rapidly all over the world infecting thousands of people through the virus coronavirus. Recently, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, becoming a threat at a global scale for all of us.
In this blog post we will highlight the basic measures you can apply to avoid getting ill. At the same time, we will explain the importance of having a good soap and washing your hands regularly. Finally, we present the ‘Soaps for Life’ initiative, our humble contribution in these times of need and despair.
Recommendations to prevent the virus spread
COVID-19 affects the lungs and airways, and it is especially dangerous for the elderly and people with previous pathologies. Currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Researchers and scientists are working hard to create a working vaccine, but it will take a long time for that to happen. Therefore, the best strategy for now is trying to stop the virus from spreading and all the guidelines and recommendations given by health authorities are targeted towards this objective.
These are basic measures you can follow to prevent getting infected:
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds. Always do it when you get home or work.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Immediately dispose of the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect objects that you touch regularly
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose
- Avoid events with large crowds
- Avoid social activities
- When possible work from home, and only travel if it is essential
How soap beats the virus
Due to its recent outbreak, it is not known exactly how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person. However, viruses of a similar nature are transmitted via cough droplets. It can happen when an infected person coughs or sneezes releasing droplets that contain particles of the virus. These droplets can stay on surfaces and stick to your skin when you touch them. Then, when you touch your face, specifically your mouth, nose, or eyes, the virus can get in your body and you can get infected. That’s why it's essential to wash your hands regularly to avoid getting ill.
Human skin is a particularly good environment for the virus to thrive on. Our skin is organic and contains proteins and fatty acids that interact with the virus to keep it active. Washing your hands with just water is not enough. Alcohol based gels are good, but require high alcohol concentrations and their antibacterial properties have no effects on the virus.
Pally Thordarson, an expert in supramolecular chemistry and professor at the School of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales in Australia, explains how the most effective way to destroy the virus in your skin is washing your hands with soap and water.
In essence, a virus is made of 3 components: a nucleic acid genome (its own DNA), protein that encases the genome and helps replication, and an outer layer of lipids. Soap is extremely effective at dissolving the outer layer of lipids of the virus and makes it fall apart. In addition, soap contains compounds called amphiphiles that are similar to those lipids in the virus and compete with them. Amphiphiles play an important role because they facilitate the removal of the virus particles from the skin. However, it is important not only to coat your hands in soap but to rub the soap into the skin for at least 20 seconds to ensure the virus is effectively removed.
The Soaps for Life initiative
At The Clean Market we are launching the ‘Soaps for Life’ initiative to help those who are most vulnerable in the current situation stay clean and healthy. We are donating more than 100 soaps to anyone with an age of 65 years or older. If you are in need or you know someone who is in need and vulnerable, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the address and we will send a soap for free. Together we will win this battle. Be clean, stay healthy.