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As we get closer to the end of 2020, you would think that there would be some kind of consensus regarding Covid-19. Do masks help? Does social distancing help? What household items kill the virus?

You'd think we'd all be on the same page by now.

Those questions, and pretty much everything else Covid related, seem to split everyone into hyper-politicized groups for no apparent reason. That makes it tough to just get some straightforward info.

I decided to do a quick Google search to see what people were asking about the most, and then see what the FDA, EPA, CDC, and other experts had to say on the subject; if anything.

Disinfectants and Wipes

There is agreement on household disinfectants. Check for the active ingredients ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and quaternary ammonium. Check labels before applying to surfaces and for warnings.

Also, old fashioned bleach is good to use. Four teaspoons of bleach mixed with one quart of water should do the trick. Be sure to use in a well ventilated area, wear gloves, and don't mix it with any other disinfectants.

Witch Hazel

There are a lot of people asking about witch hazel on Google, which meant I had to go figure out what witch hazel is and is supposed to do. Apparently, it's incredibly popular and a lot of people think it can kill Covid-19.

According to URMC, it's not a disinfectant and there's "insufficient evidence" it kills bacteria or viruses. They recommend following the CDC guidelines for hand washing.

UV Lights

The sale of UV light wands has boomed since the beginning of this year. The reason is that a lot of people think that UV light can kill the virus. While certain types of UV light can kill viruses (UVC), most of the lamps you can purchase for in home use are not that strong.

In fact, the type of UV radiation needed in order to kill a virus can also harm humans if they have been exposed to it for too long. It can burn the skin or eyes. This is why it's usually installed in air ducts instead of places that people hangout.

Also keep in mind, it's recommended to never look directly into a UVC lamp source as it can cause damage.

Of course, keep up with the mask wearing when in public places. It's how we help each other. Keep up with the social distancing. Wash your hands frequently.

The best course of action, it seems, is to pay attention to the experts as we learn more about the virus and to follow the recommendations of the experts.

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