Chemistry and Coronavirus

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by Srinivas Rao : It’s really hard to believe how an obscure, creepy virus has put the entire world into panic and stress. Yes! This is a crucial period for all of us to stay safe, mentally strong and physically healthy. The pandemic has changed both work life and home life and this reminds us how cautiously we have to lead our lives.

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on our entire mankind, with still a few countries witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases in which the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.

While the entire world is anticipating for the vaccine to turn up, let’s not forget to follow the mantra of Chemistry to stay away from the virus.

Chemistry Mantra:

  1. Wash hands frequently with an alcohol based hand sanitizer

Structure of Alcohols (Methanol, Ethanol, Propanol and Isopropanol)

Effect of Hand Sanitizer

Usage: For hands

Mechanism: Alcohol molecules dissolve the fatty outside layer of the virus and damage the structure of virus proteins by releasing their intracellular content.

2. On hard surface: Bleach Solution

Structure of Sodium hypochlorite

Usage: On hard surface. Minimum concentration of 0.1% bleach

Mechanism: Bleach oxidizes and destroys virus proteins and genetic material. It should be left on the surface for at least 10 minutes.

3. Washing hands frequently with soap and water

Effect of Soap

Usage: Wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds

Mechanism: Soap molecules can dissolve the fatty outside layer of the virus and damage the structure of the virus protein by releasing intracellular content.

4. On hard surface: Hydrogen Peroxide

Structure of H2O2

 

Usage: On hard Surface

Mechanism: Peroxide oxidizes and destroys virus proteins and genetic material. It should be left on surface for at least 10 minutes.

As the whole world is anticipating the miracle of vaccines, we shall pledge to stick to the chemistry mantra, also to maintain physical distance, always wearing your face-cover/mask while in public and ensure it covers your nose and mouth properly.

References and images:

  1. https://globalhandwashing.org/how-washing-hands-with-soap-destroys-the-coronavirus/
  2. https://stock.adobe.com/search?k=sodium%20molecule
  3. https://www.insider.com/does-hydrogen-peroxide-kill-germs-and-viruses
  4. https://www.quickmedical.com/blog/post/how-to-sterilize-medical-equipment
  5. Revisiting the dangers of the coronavirus in the ophthalmology practice: Ivan SeahXinyi Su & Gopal Lingam 
  6. Hand Sanitizers: A Review on Formulation Aspects, Adverse Effects, and Regulations, Thiagarajan Madheswaran et al.
  7. https://www.floattanksolutions.com/basics-float-tank-sanitation/
  8. https://www.deviantart.com/

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