Watch the Way COVID-19 Spreads Before Your Very Eyes - An NHK Experiment
This anxiety-inspiring experiment from Japanese public broadcasting service NHK shows how the virus spreads.
- An Invisible Menace
- There's no denying that the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 has inspired new levels of conscientiousness and personal hygiene among people around the globe. For many, however, it can be hard to understand why we all need to keep washing our hands all the time. Japanese public broadcaster NHK decided to do a little experiment to demonstrate just why it's so important, and share it with the world.
- The experiment itself was simple. Actual germs are "sticky" and spread easily, so they squirted the palm of one participant with a special UV paint that had the same sticky, spreadable qualities, almost as if the participant had sneezed into their hands. Then, they had all the participants enjoy a lovely cruise ship buffet meal together, just a normal dinner. You can see the results in the video below...
- As @Johnny_suputama puts so succinctly, "in 30 min the paint had transferred to every individual and was on the faces of 3." The paint was everywhere - on people's hands and faces, on their glasses and around their eyes and mouths, on all of the serving utensils and spreading from the plates onto the tables themselves. Had it been the actual coronavirus and not just some innocent UV paint, every person in the experiment would be at serious risk of infection.
The Message? Wash Your Hands!
In a comment about the video to CNN, John Nicolls, a clinical professor in pathology at Hong Kong University, explained "what the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently, and I think it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease." He added that the experiment might have been even more useful, however, if the "infected" participant had washed their hands for five or ten seconds before beginning. Maybe next time NHK can show us how thorough we need to be for handwashing to be effective! In the meantime, you can always follow along singing Happy Birthday with us to get your full 20 seconds of handwashing in.
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