Wash Your Hands and Repent, or, Stupid, Ignorant Comedians and the Coronavirus

Okay, so last time I teed off on “comedians” dunking on VP Pence leading the American efforts on the China Flu. Those oh so funny jokes about all you need to do is wash your hands, and REPENT.

I’ll repeat here what I said there:

You want to dunk on the VP because you don’t like his politics? Fine, go ahead, but you’ve got an audience of millions who for reasons unbeknownst to me, take you, stand up comedians, seriously. So, seriously, pull your heads out of your asses and WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS. And don’t make light of one of the single most powerful things we can do for our health, you fucking simpletons.

As far as the politics go, I’ve got no dog in this hunt, I’m Canadian. But as far as the health concerns go, I have:

  • Passed my 50th birthday
  • 3 kids
  • 1 wife
  • 2 elderly parents
  • 2 elderly parents-in-law
  • A sister with a compromised immune system

And that’s just myimmediate family. So as far as herd immunity and the spread of this thins is concerned, yeah, I’ve got skin in the game.

Now, I wrote in general terms. Hand washing to prevent the spread of disease is one of the most powerful and useful advancements in the history of human health. But you know what? As far as the Wuhan virus is concerned, it’s more.

Just this morning I stumbled upon this little twitter thread.

Twitter thread Andrew? Really?

Yes, really. The author is a Chemistry Professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia, so you don’t have to take an engineer’s word that washing your hands will help combat this thing. Instead, take the chemistry expert’s word.

Short version, and I’m going to include a screencap of the first tweet in the thread, the virus has a layer of lipids in it. If you remember your high school chemistry, soap dissolves fat. If you don’t remember your high school chemistry, well, what do you do with a greasy pot? Wash it in…SOAP.

Short logic tree:

  • Soap breaks down fat.
  • Wuhan virus is held together by fat.
  • Break down the fat layer “…and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and ‘dies’…”

He goes on to explain that viruses don’t die because they’re not really alive, but that’s not the point. The point is that the virus is literally destroyed by soap.

What’s more, in addition to breaking down the virus itself, soap helps to detach the virus from your skin.

You’re getting a twofer, soap is

  • Removing the virus from your hands
  • Breaking down the chemical structure of the virus

So if you thought I was being overly harsh on the wisecracking halfwits of late night TV, read that twitter thread. And then go out and do heroes’ work and join me in relentlessly mocking those ill educated, smarmy dimwits.