B1 Intermediate US 46 Folder Collection
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It's true: Germs can live on your clothes, and they can live on your body.
While that might not be the most buzzworthy topic right now in regards to the COVID-19
pandemic, it's very important to take precautions whenever we can.
The UK's National Health Service reports that there are three primary ways that germs can
be spread by clothes and towels: Shared towels or bedding can spread contamination… dirty
laundry can spread germs when handled… and even the laundering process itself can spread
germs.
Many of the guidelines for protecting yourself against COVID-19 focus on cleaning hard surfaces
and high-touch surfaces like your smartphone.
"You don't actually need to use antibacterial or antiviral products on your phone.
You can just use simple soap and water."
But the CDC also suggests that there's some risk involved when you're handling the clothes
or bedding of an infected person.
They strongly recommend that you
"Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard
[the gloves] after each use.
If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection
of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes."
And please be sure to wash your hands properly after handling the laundry.
The CDC advises that,
"If possible, do not shake [your] dirty laundry.
This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air."
You should also make sure that you clean and disinfect any and all laundry hampers.
The COVID-19 virus is extremely contagious, but of course, it can't jump from surface
to surface the way that fleas can.
When experts describe the virus "jumping," they mean it in an entirely different way.
As Quanta magazine reports,
"[It's a disease that] can jump between humans and other animals.
[...] While the specifics differ, the mechanism relies on the same fundamental premise: access
and ability.
Can a virus reach the cells of its host?"
The COVID-19 virus can, of course, be spread through coughs and sneezes.
In fact, a single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets, and these droplets can live
for several days on hard surfaces like metal, glass, or plastic.
Meanwhile, UCLA professor Jamie Lloyd-Smith told NPR,
"What [our] experiments show is that the virus can remain viable floating in the air for
some number of hours.
The experiments went out to three hours, and, you know, there were still viable viruses
present."
But, as NPR reports,
"Lloyd-Smith says this experiment definitely does not prove that people have been infected
this way by particles of virus that float in the air, what scientists call aerosolized
transmission.
He says what remains unknown is what dose is needed to infect someone."
What is known is that it's exceptionally important to continue practicing social distancing and,
again, making sure that you wash your hands often.
And in case you aren't entirely clear on what social distancing is, Johns Hopkins Medicine
explains,
"[It's] deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.
Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19."
It's also important not to touch people when greeting them so no handshakes or high-fives.
Your safest bet is simply not going out in public at all work from home, have your groceries
delivered, and communicate digitally instead of in-person.
According to the CDC, person-to-person transmission is the primary way that the COVID-19 virus
spreads.
Basically, don't touch other people… or at least, don't touch other people who aren't
in your household.
Another important note: Surgical masks aren't recommended for the general public.
They should only be worn by medical professionals or people who are caring for an infected person.
That's because there's currently a critical shortage of personal protective equipment
for medical providers.
Meanwhile, if you've been out in public near at-risk persons or if you've been exposed
to someone suspected of having coronavirus that large pile of laundry is even more pressing.
The National Health Service recommends that you wash your laundry in water that's at least
140 degrees Fahrenheit, and be sure to use a bleach-based product, which is available
in most laundry aisles.
The CDC also advises that you let these laundered items fully dry.
Stay safe out there!
On second thought… stay safe by staying indoors.
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Can Coronavirus Live On Your Clothes?

46 Folder Collection
Annie Huang published on March 23, 2020
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