But your life isn’t designed around maintaining the ideal conditions for a coronavirus to thrive. UV light is believed to have the ability to kill the virus and its lifespan was reduced when the Australian researchers raised the temperature in their tests. At 86° Fahrenheit, samples of stainless steel, polymer notes, and glass showed that live infectious virus was recoverable for up to seven days.
Non-porous materials like cotton cloth were found to contain traces of infectious virus for up to 14 days with a temperature of 68° Fahrenheit. This is all pretty vague data for figuring out your personal risks of virus transmission from surfaces, but previous research found the virus’s lifespan was closer to three days on glass and six days on stainless steel. In other words, we might want to be a bit more mindful of covid’s resilience on surfaces.
But there’s no reason to panic. Professor Ron Eccles, former director Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, told the BBC that the new research can come off as alarmist and criticized the study for not using fresh human mucus as a vehicle for the virus in tests. He explained that the white cell load in mucus can be very hostile to viruses.
From the beginning of the pandemic, very little has changed regarding the recommended protocols for protecting yourself and others from spreading the virus—wear a mask, keep a substantial distance between yourself and others, wash your hands, avoid enclosed spaces. This isn’t complicated, but shifting research in risks and erratic policy shifts at the government level have managed to make it more complicated than it should be.