Even as Covid 19 deaths in the US continue to grow, now surpassing 85,000, many states have begun loosening lockdown restrictions.
Regardless of the wisdom of such moves, it’s clear that there’s a desire to return to something resembling normalcy across the country, as in Wisconsin, where locals returned to packed bars this week.
How many of those revelers there, and in other states like Texas with lax policies, may contract the virus remains to be seen, but a recent viral video from Japan gives an idea of how easily the infection might spread.
The video experiment, conducted by the public broadcaster NHK in conjunction with disease specialists, uses black light and a fluorescent substance to simulate how quickly germs can be spread across a variety of surfaces in environments such as restaurant buffets and cruise ships.
To begin with, one guest of 10 at a restaurant buffet is shown with the substance on his hands meant as a stand-in for the coronavirus.
Over the course of a typical dining period, the rest of the guests behave in predictable fashion, selecting utensils from serving stations, enjoying their food, checking their phones and so on.
At the end of the experiment the black light is turned on and the substance is revealed to be smeared everywhere: plates, foodstuff, utensils and even all over some of the guests’ faces.
A second experiment in the same environment showed the benefits of improved hygiene techniques. The “infected” person and the other diners washed their hands before and throughout the meal, and utensils and other implements were cleaned and replaced more frequently.
“What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently,” John Nicholls, a clinical professor in pathology at Hong Kong University, told CNN.
While noting that the amount of “infection” on the diner’s hand was more than you would normally see from a cough or a sneeze, he said: “I think it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease.”
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