As Eileen notes, viruses are not, strictly speaking, "alive" in that they must enter host cells and hijack replicative enzymes and subcellular structures to reproduce themselves. But they are also, strictly speaking, not "dead" outside of those cells, in that they retain the ability to recognize and penetrate an appropriate host cell when they encounter it. "Reproductively inert" is a better term than "dead". A virus outside of its host cell is known as a virion. The length of time a given virion retains the ability to recognize and penetrate a host cell depends upon its unique biology, its location, and the ambient environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.). Measles virions, for example, can remain infectious for a couple of days on a floating dust mote, making measles extraordinarily contagious. Fortunately, the already known coronaviruses retain their infectivity for shorter periods, depending on the surface on which they rest. However, the specific parameters of infectivity for this particular virus remain unclear at this time.Fortunately, a virion's ability to recognize and penetrate a host cell can be permanently destroyed by dismantling its molecular structure. How to do that? Soap, solutions of ethanol greater than 70%, household bleach diluted by adding 1/3 cup to a gallon of water. This is perhaps a long-winded way of saying that adopting Eileen's protocol does not eliminate the need for frequent and thorough handwashing and routine surface disinfection during an outbreak of any respiratory virus, if only to prevent secondary transfer of virions to populations at risk of serious complications: the elderly, the immunocompromised, those suffering from asthma or COPD, those with a genetic susceptibility for acute respiratory distress syndrome. The last is a runaway immune response to a pathogen or a caustic inhalant, and is actually responsible for most COVID-19 deaths so far
Agreed Jeff! My language used in the video was simplistic for my audience. Thank you for the deep dive into virions. Agreed whole heartedly on effective hand washing also! 😍
Living in the Northeast, without any exposure to direct sunlight these past few months, we also use high potency Vitamin D3 to prevent the risk of cytokine storm if an exaggerated interleukin response presents.