The bad news is, the COVID-19 virus aka Coronavirus is capable of surviving up to 24 hours on a piece of cardboard, according to a new study.

The good news is, that’s not the worst surface for virus longevity.

A new study, prepared by U.S. government scientists from multiple organizations as well as UCLA and Princeton, compared a number of common surfaces to see how long the virus would survive: air, copper (because, Moscow Mules, right?), cardboard, plastic and stainless steel.

Stainless steel is pretty easy to clean, but along with plastic, it’s a surface where the virus could survive the longest in this study: two to three days.

Where will you encounter stainless steel? Countertops, elevator panels, appliances. So as long as those surfaces are regularly disinfected, we should be ok.

Plastic is something else…think about how many times those plastic soda or water bottles are being restocked on the shelves. It might be harder to clean the ridged caps, which is just one more reason to stick with BEER.

Copper was tested because it’s known to have antibacterial properties – but it’s also well known for holding the delicious concoction of vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice.

A little digression courtesy of the Huffington Post on how the Moscow Mule got its name.

As legend has it, ‘round about 1941, John G. Martin, a businessman who bought the rights to the Smirnoff brand came up with the idea over drinks with the owner of the Cock’n’Bull, Jack Morgan. Martin was having trouble selling vodka, and Morgan was having problems selling ginger beer. Another businessman there was having trouble moving a bunch of copper mugs, and voila! History was made.

In any event, the virus can live up to 4 hours on copper, so make sure your mugs are well rinsed!

And the “surface” — or medium if you will — where Coronavirus has the shortest life span? Air!

According to the study, it can live up to three hours in air, which is why covering those sneezes is so important.

You know, during World War II our grandparents were called on to the battlefield to fight for freedom. This week, most of us are just being called on to sit on our couches. A little useful perspective…

One Response

  1. Jon

    “According to the study, it can live up to three hours in air, which is why covering those sneezes is so important.”

    AH! But! If I don’t cover my sneeze, the virus goes into the air, and dies within 3 hours; however, if I sneeze into the armpit of my plastic windbreaker, it’ll stay there for days!

    (Just kidding; cover your sneezes, people, and not just during times of global pandemic)


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