The current global coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak is the biggest health crisis the world has suffered in decades. It caught us sleeping and the world is paying the price. Failure to invest in medical research has most likely led to the pandemic as we’re still unable to find a vaccine. The virus spreads fast and causes pneumonia which can be deadly, especially in older people.
COVID-19 transmits through droplets, but there’s been much debate over whether it transmits via surfaces or otherwise. While some experts claims that it can’t live on surfaces that long, others claim it can survive on asphalt for hours. That can be problematic – it means that we can bring it into our home with our shoes. According to Carol Winner, a public health specialist, COVID-19 can remain active on some surfaces for days. This, of course, raises the risk of infection significantly.
In 2008, a microbiologist study showed that there are over 420,000 different germs and bacteria on soles rather than shoe fabric. This proves Winner’s theory – that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 can survive on the soles of our shoes. If it can live for days on surfaces, we can bring it into our home and raise the risk of infection. While we’re all washing our hands 20 times per day and keep a healthy distance between each other, our soles have become a serious threat.
No Room for Panic
While our shoes (more specifically, soles), are a threat, experts believe there’s no room for panic. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t move anywhere – just be aware of the threat shoes pose. Sanitary precautions and more caution should be enough protection as it is. Our feet are as far away from our face as possible, so the risk isn’t that big. The greatest risk of transmission is still person to person.
Of course, you shouldn’t be complacent about the risk of shoes transmission. Just try not to touch your shoes and whatever you do, don’t touch your face. The good news is that you can disinfect your shoes easily with either alcohol wipes or disinfectant spray.
Washing them in the machine is also a good strategy if you have the time. According to epidemiologist Dr. Georgine Nanos, washing machines are ideal for killing the virus. Thanks to the chemical detergents and the high temperatures, there’s no way COVID-19 can survive that ‘beating’. If, however, you don’t have the time, you can spray your shoes and soles with a disinfectant or clean them with alcohol and air them out for a few hours. This’ll ensure that the virus doesn’t survive.
Stay Safe and Clean
The pandemic is still not over even after a month. Although Italy was the country that was hit the hardest, the USA has emerged as a new hot zone. Thousands of people are dying and it seems that governments still don’t know how to fight the disease. Social distancing helps as do precautions we should all take against the spread of the virus.
Wash your hands, disinfect your shoes, don’t touch your face, and stay home. This is the only way to survive in these unprecedented times.