The Forgotten Fight Against COVID-19: Are You Protecting Your Phone?

(CBS Local)- In the last few months, COVID-19 has drastically changed our norms. While everyone is social distancing, masking up and wiping down every door knob in a three-mile-radius, what about the germ magnets we all keep glued to our finger tips; our cell phones.

Cell phones have always been a haven for germs, in fact the average cell phone contains eight to ten times as many germs as a toilet seat. As we face this invisible enemy how can we take steps to keep our phones as sterile as possible while cleaning supplies remain difficult to come across in many areas of the county? Fortunately there are several options available that won’t leave you at the mercy of finding the last remaining case of wipes on your next trip to the grocery store.

One of these options is the Aeris Copper phone case. This product was developed by three recent college graduates who were looking to give people a passive way to protect their phones from COVID. These efforts resulted in the development of a process by which a phone case could be coated in copper and become “inherently anti-pathogenic.” In layman’s terms, copper is naturally antiviral and will kill almost everything it comes in contact with. While these cases are coated in copper, they don’t inhibit your phone’s cellular abilities and remain sleek enough to slide into your pocket.

In an interview with CBS Local about the product co-founder Nick O’Brien said, “A lot of people hear copper phone case and they think of some hefty copper block. It’s really not. We try to keep the same functionality of any other phone case. We don’t want to disrupt anyones everyday life. We want them to be able to continue using their phone the same way they always do, but just have this added layer protection on top of it.”

Photo Courtesy of Aeris Copper

Fellow co-founder Isaac Lichter also added, “This being a passive system was one of the most important things for us. It’s a big ask, no matter what situation is, to ask someone to change their everyday routine. We want this so they put it on their phone case and forget about. It that’s all they have to do, is put it on their phone and forget about it.” As an added bonus for anyone who purchases an Aeris Copper phone case, Chief Operating Officer and third co-founder Andrew Medland also shared that the company will donate a phone case to front line healthcare workers for every unit sold. 

While specialized phone cases can protect your device on the go, there are more options for people looking sanitize their cellulars in the comfort of home. One of the biggest weapons against coronavirus is the use of UV light and several products offer ways to bring that cleansing power into your home.

By doing a quick search online consumers can find several products such as ultraviolet light bulbs and wands that can shine a virus killing light on any devices held beneath them. Bulbs such as the XBOCMY Germicidal UV Light Bulb advertise the ability to disinfect an entire closet and boast an 8,000 hour lifespan. The product’s manufacturers do warn buyers not to touch or look directly into UV bulbs as that can be harmful to your eyes and skin.

For a concentrated clean, there are also dedicated cell phone stations such as the PhoneSoap Wireless UV Smartphone cleaning case. The PhoneSoap UV case, and similar products, allow you to leave your device sealed inside for a designated amount of time as they are blasted with ultraviolet rays, effectively terminating any virus’ or bacteria.

While none of these products alone can ensure you will be 100% safe from COVID-19, every precaution helps. Washing your hands and wearing a mask have become common practice when venturing away from home in the age of coronavirus, perhaps its time to add some phone hygiene to your routine as well.