Why are bars and restaurants deep cleaning for a virus that spreads in the air?

Right now, America is all about the deep clean. Across the country, newly reopened bars and restaurants are trumpeting their constant scrubbing of tables, counters, and chairs, with the implication that enough antimicrobial blasting will make a business safe enough to eat in. That’s hogwash. There’s a lot we don’t known about Covid-19, but increasingly, scientists are saying there’s one major way the disease spreads—and that’s by air, through sneezes and coughs and imperceptible spit sprays. Surface transmission can happen, a scientist tells The Atlantic, but it’s unlikely—say, if 100 people sneezed on the same part of the table. So why are we indulging in this “hygiene theater”? The answer, you might suspect, is psychological, not scientific, and it’s probably creating a false sense of security. No amount of soap and bleach, Derek Thompson writes, can change the fact that this virus is an airborne threat.

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