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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Benefits of Handwashing During COVID

We all wear many hats and have various titles that we identify with. Doctors, moms, caregivers, teachers, coaches, friends and the like. Following a breast cancer diagnosis, we also identify with terms like breast cancer survivor, thriver, warrior, etc. It becomes part of our story. But let's not forget this powerful network we have created. We are lawyers, marketing gurus, real estate agents, and florists. This is what community is all about! We are here for each other - not just through cancer, but throughout life.

Joe's wife Fran was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months prior to me. She became my guardian angel. She shared stories about her experience that I still hold onto today and fondly recall memories of a dinner we shared together at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan. She called me a few days before my surgery to give me guidance on pain management and laxatives, and a few days afterwards to make sure I was doing OK with milking the drains.

The point is, breast cancer is a disease but it's not our entire life (though I know it can certainly feel that way at times). Fran, and her husband Joe, and I stay in touch. We exchange holiday messages, updates about kids and family, and updates on the SBC organization.

Below is one of the notes I received this week from Fran and Joe. We all have information to share for the greater good.

The following is from Dr. Irene Ken, whose daughter is an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University.

• The VIRUS is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA)

covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccaneer mucosa (mucus), changes their genetic code (mutation), and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.

• Since the VIRUS is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

• The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.

• HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 77 degrees Fahrenheit for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.

• Any ALOE mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the VIRUS.

• Any mix with 1-part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, and breaks it down from the inside.

• Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.

• NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC WORKS. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria, so antibodies cannot kill what is not alive. NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While the VIRUS is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and only disintegrates after…

- 3 hours on fabric and porous materials

- 4 hours on copper and wood

- 24 hours on cardboard

- 42 hours on metal

- 72 hours on plastic

• If you shake the VIRUS by using a feather duster, the VIRUS molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.

• The VIRUS molecules remain very stable in external cold, or in artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars.

• The VIRUS also needs moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.

• UV LIGHT on any object that may contain the VIRUS breaks down the VIRUS protein. For example, to disinfect and re-use a mask is perfect. Be careful, the VIRUS also breaks down collagen (protein) in the skin.

• The VIRUS CANNOT go through healthy skin.

• Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.

• NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, work. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need at least 65%

• The more confined the space, the more concentration the VIRUS can be. The more open or naturally ventilated space, the less VIRUS concentration.

• You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.

• You need to moisturize dry hands because of so much washing, because the molecules can hide in the micro-cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better. Keep your nails short so that the VIRUS does not hide there. _ _ _ _ Thank you so much Fran and Joe for your continued support and inspiration as we navigate the labyrinth of breast cancer thrivership!

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