For a while now we have been hearing "wash your hands!" over and over. There is a reason for it all; soap and disinfectants do kill off the COVID-19 when it is on your skin or other surfaces. This virus is new to everyone so, many tests and trials are being done to educate ourselves on COVID-19. We do know that this virus can live on different surfaces for different amounts of time. Scientists have learned that people can get the virus from touching contaminated surfaces and being near others who are carriers of the virus.
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists found that surfaces can be contaminated in aerosols for up to 3 hours, 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 3 days on stainless steel and plastic. When you are in a public place, you do not know the last time someone touched the same surface that you are touching. Wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer and washing your hands are good things to do if you must go out to a public area. It is best to self distance yourself if possible, so that no one will contaminate more surfaces and more people.
There are reasons that you will have to go out into the public areas like going to pharmacies or grocery stores or gas stations. As well as some people who are still required to go to work during these hard times. At all of these places you may have to go, hundreds of people are going to the same place and touching all of these surfaces. Since that many people are touching the same surface as you will be, you need to make sure you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you are not able to wash your hands right at that moments any type of hand sanitizer will be better than nothing. Not only will washing your hands help to stop spreading the virus, but not touching your face will help you not get COVID-19.
Reference(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces