Recent notices from the CDC may have put the kibosh on my ongoing saliva transfer fomite theory, but fwiw, here it is.
Ages ago I suspected influenza may have been inadvertently transmitted by a simple, common habit that hardly a soul anywhere seems to notice. And now I suspect this method may also contribute to the spread of cover-19 too.
They do this when flipping pages in a book, opening produce bags in a grocery store, and very commonly when cooking, eating or dining, especially with finger foods. Millions of people on a daily basis insert their fingers to or into their mouths in lieu of napkins to clean or taste excess food that gets on their fingers.
Their saliva that is now on their fingers is then transferred to all the surfaces they touch, which will of course be high use areas like door knobs, rails, countertops, etc. And a perfect concentration of virus (if there is any in the saliva), a moist environment to start, and assuredly attached to commonly touched areas. A commercial on tv right now for instance shows a man cooking something, and as he turns to the camera to advertise medical insurance, his finger is stuck squarely inside his mouth. Or a cook at a diner I noticed a few years ago is on break, and as she sits to eat a sandwich, between bites, she cleans every single one of her ten fingers by inserting them into her mouth. I am sure she washed her hands thoroughly before work, but if she is infected and contagious, everyone of her ten fingers has the potential to spread her virus to every single customer who subsequently enter that diner. (Maybe by this habit she could be a “super spreader”.) Others will touch those fomites, take up that saliva to their own fingers that will eventually end up to their own “T” zones, ie eyes, nose, mouth. And get sick too.
Just a crazy idea that might not have any merit after all.