Coronavirus COVID-19 is transmitted through surfaces more easily than directly from one person to another; therefore, hand washing remains the main preventive method.
The World Health Organization recommends using an antiseptic only as an alternative to soap if it is impossible to wash your hands.
Soap is better than antiseptics
According to WHO estimates, the new coronavirus can persist on solid surfaces for several hours.  At a favorable temperature and humidity, the virus can persist on the surface for several days.
The virus is transmitted through surfaces more easily than directly from one person to another.  Because COVID-19 is relatively heavy and quickly settles to the ground, rather than staying in the air.
Coronavirus stays on door handles, railings, elevator buttons and other surfaces that a large number of people touch.
According to studies, a person touches his face 20 times per hour or more often.  This is an ideal way for the virus to enter the body.
Masks are necessary only for patients, so as not to spread the infection, as well as for medical staff, who are in close contact with infected people all the time.  Masks do not close all the pathways of the virus into the body and can provoke touching the face.
A key feature of the new coronavirus is the spike protein in the form of spikes on its surface.  These spikes mimic the molecules of the human ACE2 protein, which the receptors on the cell membrane consider to be "their own" and pass into the cell.  Once this happens, the virus can infect the cell and begin to multiply.
Soap destroys the protein coat of the coronavirus.  The temperature of the water to kill infections does not matter.  In order for water to kill viruses by itself, it must be boiling water.
But in warm water, the fatty substances of soap - a key component in the fight against infections - spread faster than in cool water.  Both solid and liquid soaps show the same effectiveness.
Hand washing is so important that if everyone follows this hygiene rule, every fifth infectious disease can be prevented.  This is approximately six million flu diseases per year.
Do not forget to disinfect your third hand - a mobile phone.  Dry hands and, if possible, avoid dryers.  Read how to wash your hands in the material Pandemic coronavirus.
Use antibacterial soap is not worth it - it does not affect viruses, but will only increase resistance to antibiotics.
How to use sanitizers
Alcohol-based antiseptics act differently.  Alcohol weakens the chemical properties of the protein coat and can destroy the genetic material responsible for the activity of the virus.
Studies show that antiseptics should have at least 60 percent alcohol.  Disinfectants containing less alcohol are not so effective not only in the fight against viruses, but also against bacteria and fungi: they only reduce the growth of microbes, but do not kill them completely
The effectiveness of such gels is lower than soap, also because people do not wait for it to dry completely.  In addition, an antiseptic will not help very dirty hands.
However, still, alcohol antiseptics are in second place in terms of effectiveness with the disinfection of hands and other parts of the body.  There are also antiseptics where alcohol is replaced by ammonium compounds (usually benzalkonium chloride), but they are less effective.
Since the advent of COVID-19, sales of hand disinfecting gels have grown so much that LVMH Corporation, which produces perfumes for Louis Vuitton and Dior, has reoriented its production to them.
The manufactured sanitizers will be handed over to the French authorities for free.  About 12 tons of antiseptics will be delivered to 40 hospitals in Paris.
If you have to use them, make sure that you do it correctly: as when washing with soap and water, completely cover your hands with the product (including between the fingers, as well as the wrists, palms, the back of the hand and nails), then rub the product thoroughly  not less than 20 seconds.
This is a prerequisite for the use of a product of this kind to become truly effective.
Sitting at home and eating right is even more important.
Scientist Samuel Alison of the National Research Center in Montpellier recalls that it is possible to stop the epidemic if everyone makes personal efforts to ensure maximum privacy, reduce the number of walks, friendships and family interactions.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are sick or not, whether you have been in contact with people at risk. This is a matter for us all. This is demographic dynamics, we need to make a collective effort,” he says.
A study published March 11 in the reputable medical journal Lancet shows that China took two weeks of hard quarantine to halve the rate of virus propagation.
To preserve mental health in self-isolation, experts advise against sitting all the time in front of TVs and computers, as well as calling relatives and friends more often.
It is also important to eat right and exercise.