Now in this age of information explosion, every problem is followed by a variety of comments and solutions. During the coronavirus outbreak, for example, there is also a lot of talk about true or false protection measures. In this post, I’d like to list some of the rumored prevention measures which you’ve probably heard before. Let’s see if they actually work.
Myth 1: it’s good to put a paper towel in the mask ×
The paper towel inside the mask will let the air pass by the paper towel, affecting the gas tightness. It not only cannot extend the life of the mask, but also lead to the mask losing efficacy.
Myth 2: VC can improve immunity ×
Vitamin C cannot enhance immunity, and have no antiviral effect either. Excessive ingestion of it can lead to diarrhea, rashes, urinary stones and other toxic symptoms, which can be fatal in severe cases.
Myth 3: it’s okay touch the outside of mask when taking it off ×
The outermost layer of a mask is the dirtiest part because it blocks viruses and bacteria. If you touch it directly, and then touch your eyes, nose, mouth, the virus will then enter the body.
The correct way is not to contact the outside of the mask at ordinary times, and hook the hanging ear rope to remove it. After taking off the mask, wash your hands thoroughly.
Myth 4: you can spray alcohol on the mask or disinfect it with high temperature ×
If you use of a large amount of alcohol or high temperature for disinfection, it will lead to the denaturation of the outer material of the mask, decrease the water (blood, saliva) blocking ability and filtering function.
For reusable masks, you can hang them in a clean, ventilated place or store them in a clean, breathable paper bag.
Myth 5: the more layers the mask has, the safer you are ×
The long time hypoxia is easy to reduce human immunity, therefore increase the possibility of being infected. It is better to choose better protective surgical mask or N95 mask, and try to ensure disposable use.
Myth 6: you can spray disinfectant all over the body ×
During the epidemic, some people may think it’s safer to spray disinfectant all over the body when comin home. But actually you can’t cut off the transmission route of virus in this way. Instead, it can harm your health, and should definitely be avoided.
Myth 7: you can clean hands with wipes instead of water washing ×
Many people think that wet wipes are both convenient, hygienic, and can also kill bacteria. But the truth is many wet towels contain propylene glycol, zephiran chloride and other components. And just to let you know, propylene glycol is a low toxic chemical solvent.
If you wipe your hands with wet paper towels before eating, there’s a chance that the toxic substances will enter the gastrointestinal tract and affect your health.
What’s more, the solubility of propylene glycol is quite large, around 5% of people will have allergic reactions of it, so the long-term use will also hurt the skin.
Myth 8: don’t wash your hands if you have a cut ×
People may think that they can’t wash their hands after an injury because it can get inflamed. In fact, your hands touch a lot of things every day, and can easily pick up a lot of germs. If you don’t clean your hands and wounds carefully, you’re more likely to get bacterial infections.
Of course, this is for shallow wounds. If the injury is serious, you should definitely go to a hospital for proper treatment.
Myth 9: the higher the alcohol concentration, the better the disinfection effect ×
If the alcohol concentration is too high, the bacteria surface protein will solidify to form a protective film, which will hinder the further infiltration of ethanol molecules, therefore result in the inability to sterilize the bacteria.
The repeated tests show that the disinfection will be affected whether the alcohol concentration is too high or too low. Instead, the 75% medicinal alcohol has the strongest sterilization effect.
Myth 10: there are virus in the air, so you can’t open a window ×
In a normally ventilated environment, a novel coronavirus is not normally found in the air. Ventilation through the window at least twice a day is recommended as an effective measure to reduce the risk of infection.