Hygiene theatre. What actually works when it comes to protecting yourself against COVID-19? Constant sanitation? Masks? Or a combination of the two?
“Hygiene theatre means a slavish devotion to excessive cleaning of the environment, hoping to prevent the spread of COVID,” said Dr. Howard Nadworny, infectious disease physician at St. Vincent.
People are using UV cleaners, various sanitizers and wipes to keep their environments cleaner than ever.
“The biggest difficulty with all of these environmental cleaning strategies is that none of them are likely to work to slow down the spread of COVID,” said Nadworny.
The fact is that COVID spreads through the air. So sanitizers and wipes won’t do much, if anything.
“When people are breathing and talking, virus spreads out into the room, falls onto the ground, falls onto surfaces. You can detect it there. But it doesn’t re-aerosolize, it doesn’t get off that surface back into the air for you to inhale it,” said Nadworny.
Using your mask, proper social distancing and hand washing are the best practices according to Nadworny. They are simple yet effective in protecting yourself during a pandemic.