Photo of the Covid-19 virus at a microscopic level.

Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.


Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology, talking about Why COVID-19 matters to you.

COVID-19 is a respiratory agent and what that means and why that’s important is that it can contaminate surfaces, so we have to be mindful about keeping our hands clean and washing our hands for 20 seconds.

It also means that when we breathe and exhale and when we yell or when we talk and when we cough and we sneeze because this is a respiratory disease, those are all opportunities for the virus to get out in the environment and infect someone else. Given those realities, that’s why hand washing becomes very important and it’s considered to be 20 seconds to be effective. And face coverings very very clearly when both the infected and uninfected when both parties as much face covering and face and mask wearing as we can have the better off we’re going to be. Because it reduces the ability for the virus to be transmitted and to infect other people.

COVID-19 Why it Matters Video Series:

  • Video Series Introduction with Brian Merkel
  • Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from
  • Part 2: Two main types of viruses
  • Part 3: Why is this virus serious?
  • Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?