ROCHESTER, Minn. - We don't know how much of the coronavirus is needed to make you sick. Mike Melius with Olmsted County Public Health says we have to assume the amount is small.
"What's important about it is once that virus makes contact with you or gets inside your body, mouth nose or eyes, then it starts to grow," Melius said.
That's why practicing good hygiene and constantly cleaning surfaces is key.
"There takes time that time frame, what we call incubation before you become ill," Melius said. "The actual movement and contamination that you might get can happen anytime you're touching surfaces."
I tried a little experiment: I filled a bowl with water and pepper. The pepper represents the virus. Then I stuck my finger in and the pepper got stuck. After, I thoroughly washed my hands, stuck my finger inside the same bowl and my fingers had no pepper. It turns out soap and water really do work. But the important thing is thoroughness.
"Really, you need to get a good lather, a good lather going with good flowing water to remove those viral particles from your hand," Melius said.
I also put on gloves and used tempera paint. The paint is the soap. It takes a lot to get the paint all over my gloves. The trick is to lather with gusto.
"The best antiviral, in this case, is actually removing the virus from your hands, that's why we focus so much on handwashing compared to putting alcohol hand sanitizer on your hand," Melius said.
Melius says it's up to us to adopt such practices.
"They can protect themselves and their families and businesses can likewise and we can get through this curve of illness," Melius said.
Regularly washing surfaces like doorknobs and electronic devices is also key to fighting COVID-19. Public Health says it's also important to use a commercial disinfectant and to check the label to make sure it kills viruses.