One of the simplest ways to protect yourself and prevent COVID-19 is to wash your hands with soap. Handwashing with soap kills SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) so it never gets a chance to infect you.
Soap consists of molecules that disrupt the coat of the virus. When soap molecules dissolve into water, they arrange themselves into spherical clusters (called micelles) that have hydrophilic coats and hydrophobic centers. The centers can dissolve other fatty materials. When the clusters encounter the virus membrane, the hydrophobic centers are attracted to the fatty envelope of the virus membrane and insert themselves into the protective layer. This weakens the membrane integrity, causing the viral membrane to loosen and tear. The combined soaping motion (rubbing your hands together) further disrupts and dismantles the viral membrane. Finally, the virion ruptures, spilling its contents down the drain.
Remember: just 20-30 seconds of handwashing is all it takes to dismantle the virus that causes COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is avoiding exposure – so wash your hands.
This image was created for CellSpace 2020, a workshop hosted by David Goodsell. These images are free to use for non-commercial purposes.
DISMANTLEMENT of the COVID-19 VIRUS with SOAP