We are over cleaning in response to the virus

Opinion: Airborne transmission, not surfaces, is the covid-19 threat

Joseph G. Allen is an associate professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Charles Haas is a professor of environmental engineering at Drexel University. Linsey C. Marr is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. Writing in The Washington Post:
‘We don’t have a single documented case of covid-19 transmission from surfaces. Not one.
So why, then, are we spending a small fortune to deep clean our offices, schools, subways and buses?
Business leaders, school districts and government officials often ask us whether people are over-cleaning in response to the pandemic. The short answer is yes. The reality is that the novel coronavirus spreads mainly through the air. Especially with regular hand-washing, there’s no need to constantly disinfect surfaces.
The best analogy we’ve used for how this virus is spread is to think about a smoker… How much could you protect yourself from that smoke by scrubbing down countertops, doorknobs and all the other surfaces in the room? Not much. Shared air is the problem, not shared surfaces….’


Exactly. Except for one thing — the compulsive cleaning helps in treating the substantial psychological impact of the pandemic, binding our anxiety. 

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