2021 AMI Online Salon

How do hand sanitizers and masks protect against SARS-CoV-2?

Project Detail

  • Entrant Name:  Li Yao
  • Other Contributors: Esther Shyu, Nadeene Riddick
  • Client:HHMI BioInteractive
  • Copyright: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2021
  • Medium/software used:Adobe Illustrator and Adobe After Effects
  • Final presentation format:Part of a short educational film
  • Primary Audience:Advanced high school students and undergraduate students

Project Description

As part of a short educational film, these animations explain how hand sanitizers and masks protect against SARS-CoV-2. The animations contain innovative visuals and intend to clarify two misconceptions: 1) Ethanol’s virucidal mechanism is more complex and less well-studied compared to soap’s mechanism. Many existing resources lump ethanol and soap together and incorrectly show micelles formed by ethanol molecules. In this animation, the ethanol molecules are shown to disrupt the lipids and denature the proteins, but do not form micelles. Due to the gaps in the literature, the virus inactivation is shown schematically to avoid misconceptions. 2) The role of aerosols and droplets in viral transmission is often shown inaccurately in the news reports. This animation distinguishes them by showing droplets falling immediately while the aerosols remain floating in the air. It also emphasizes that both particles (aerosols + droplets) can spread SARS-CoV-2 and can be reduced by wearing masks.