In theory, we should now all understand why it is important to wash hands, wear masks, and maintain good hygiene practices during a pandemic, to prevent the spread of the virus. But nothing really drives the point home as effectively as a good old-fashioned show.
Japan's public broadcasting network NHK has really taken the cake in a new video that has gone viral.
NHK worked with infectious disease experts at St. Marianna University School of Medicine in Kawasaki to prepare a buffet-style meal for 10 people. They put some fluorescent paint on the hand of an 'infected' person to simulate a cough in the hand, and then let the participants eat the buffet for the next 30 minutes.
We're sure everyone felt a little sick after the fluorescent lights were turned on to reveal the spread of that bit of paint.
As you can see in the video, the 'infection' reached ... everywhere. The paint was spread to the hands of each participant, and three ended up with the paint on their faces.
Look at the video
NHK conducted an experiment to see how germs spread at a cruise buffet.
They applied fluorescent paint to the hands of 1 person and then had a group of 10 people dine.
In 30 min the paint had transferred to every individual and was on the faces of 3.- Spoon & Tamago (@Johnny_suputama) May 8, 2020
The team found that tongs, plate lids and the beverage container handle were primarily responsible for the spread. This simple demonstration is very helpful in showing how easily germs can spread through contact and contaminated surfaces.
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to remind everyone to regularly clean their hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds), do not touch their mouth, eyes and nose, and keep at least a meter (3 feet) away from other people are the best methods to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
NHK and the experts also did a second experiment. This time, they were much more diligent about the hygiene practices used at the buffet. Dishes were separated, tweezers were frequently exchanged for clean ones, and participants were encouraged to wash their hands frequently.
In that version of the food, no one but the originally contaminated person ended up with the fluorescent "virus".
The immediate lesson here seems to be "avoid buffet meals for a while." But it also points to a bigger problem: Humans can be nasty creatures, and we really need to be aware of the risks and maintain our personal hygiene. Right now, life depends on it.