If you’ve been wondering lately how the coronavirus has managed to spread so easily from person to person, the answer might already be in your hands. Scientists are currently speculating on the hygiene levels of our smartphones, and contending that we should be keeping them as clean as possible – perhaps as much as we clean our hands.
Lotti Tajouri, a molecular geneticist from Australia, says that it doesn’t matter how often you wash your hands – if you go to touch your phone again, you are potentially contaminated, and your hard work getting the coronavirus off your hands by washing them has been undone.
Studies have been conducted around phone contamination and considering for most of us, our smartphone might as well be seen as a third hand, we should be cleaning it at least once a day. We should preferably be cleaning it with a substance like hand sanitizer, which we all know has been in short supply throughout the global pandemic. You can also clean your smartphone with a device that uses UV rays to sanitize.
Tajouri says that smartphones are, unfortunately, breeding grounds for bacteria and microbes. We are constantly touching them, carrying them around with us, and putting microscopic droplets of our own DNA on them. We do everything with them, from eating to sleeping, which means that they are constantly exposed to bacteria and harmful microbes that can fester and reproduce at an alarming rate. And, not surprisingly, the majority of people aren’t constantly cleaning their phones.
While border control officers can ask us questions about our health when we travel, they aren’t exactly focused on checking our smartphones for viral microbes. This means that it’s extremely easy to spread the virus through them.
While the coronavirus will eventually die on a surface like our smartphones, recent research indicates that a virus like this can survive for up to four days on glass and plastic. However, when we use strong soap or sanitizer, we can kill the virus as quickly as it was transmitted to our phones. Perhaps it’s time to start wiping down our phones every time we wash our hands, to make sure that the coronavirus is stamped out once and for all.