Podcast. 9-28-20. 16 minutes. Research has shown that COVID-19 transmission is largely through airborne droplets and particles expelled during sneezing, coughing, talking, and singing. There’s little evidence that surfaces are making us sick. Deep Cleaning For Covid Is Not Very Effective
Microbiologist Dr. Emanuel Goldman talks with Stephanie Desmon about the science behind COVID transmission research, the strong evidence that infection comes from aerosols and not surfaces, and how excess sanitation in public spaces may be giving us a false sense of security.
Hygiene Theater: The Deep Cleaning Performances That Offer Little Protection from COVID-19 To listen click here Note: play button is below the orange image on the right side.
Link to Dr. Goldman’s Lancet article, “Exaggerated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites“ referenced in the podcast. Lots of references. A bit technical, but no too bad. Dr. Goldman did literature research and has many references and links to other articles. Many thanks to him. To read the article click here
My comments: The best explanation I have heard about Covid and surfaces (fomites!!)!
What are fomites? An inanimate object or substance, such as clothing, doorknob furniture, or countertops, that is capable of transmitting infectious organisms from one individual to another.
What is hygiene theater? As far as I can tell, it is not a scientific term and was first used in a July 2020 Atlantic article. Excerpt: “COVID-19 has reawakened America’s spirit of misdirected anxiety, inspiring businesses and families to obsess over risk-reduction rituals that make us feel safer but don’t actually do much to reduce risk—even as more dangerous activities are still allowed. This is hygiene theater.” The article references Goldman’s Lancet article above.
To read the Atlantic article, click here. It is behind a paywall. I subscribe to Atlantic magazine. Very interesting long Covid articles. Click here for some free articles. Warning: sometimes the articles can be somewhat “political”, such as the October 1 article.
I quit worrying, and writing, about risk from touching surfaces a while ago. The speaker explains the pitfalls of lab research. For example, no one tested if viruses on surfaces actually infected anyone. Difficult to do, of course. I read the research and it did not seem relevant to Covid either.
I don’t think that cleaning the equipment at my gym will get me back. It is the huffing and puffing of workouts that is hazardous. Deep cleaning will not get me back inside my favorite restaurants – hard to eat with a face mask on. Better ventilation and physical distancing is what we need indoors.
Of course, if it makes you feel better… clean those countertops and groceries! Although Deep Cleaning For Covid Is Not Very Effective.
In hospitals, where there you are working very close to patients with significant Covid symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing, it is worthwhile.