Shades of '80s SA in this mysterious modern Star Chamber

26 July 2020 - 00:00 By

The reason we use a 19th century remedy - washing our hands - for a novel 21st century virus is that the outer shell of the coronavirus is weak. The "lipid envelope" is easily destroyed by soap and water.

I read this virological fact in an article by master novelist Ian McEwan, who also, via his virologist son, warns about "fomite" - the surfaces on which an infectious agent like the dread virus could be lying in wait for you, from your shopping bag to your cellphone...

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