I don’t know what’s crazier right now…
The fact that many of us have resorted to scouring the Internet for toilet paper. Or the fact that even online, even in the limitless warehouses of Amazon and other online retailers, you STILL can’t find it.
Overall, online shopping has been a godsend for those of us hunkering down to avoid infection with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
But you also can’t help but wonder…
Could the virus be ON your packages? Could it be IN your mail? Is it SAFE to open up that box, or answer the door to accept a package?
I don’t want you to panic. But the short answer is… well… yes, the coronavirus can, in some cases, live on cardboard.
The long answer is a little more encouraging, however. So today, let me guide you through what’s safe, what’s not, and how to minimize your risk.
How to safely receive mail and packages
First, let’s just get one thing clear right away. You should avoid face-to-face contact with anyone who delivers, if at all possible.
In most cases, you can now opt, in advance, to pre-sign for deliveries and have them left at the door. And that includes everything from food to Amazon packages.
Feel free to yell a friendly “thank you” from the window.
UPS, FedEx, and even the United States Postal Service all now let you make free online accounts to manage your mail, packages, and delivery options.
And second, when you do get mail and packages, use a little caution. Because a recent study finds the COVID-19 coronavirus CAN live on surfaces such as cardboard.
Not long. But long enough. With the study finding, the virus can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
That’s not long enough to infect you if someone in the packaging plant had coronavirus, which has already happened in at least one Amazon.com warehouse.
But it IS long enough for the virus to survive if someone with the infection handled your packages and mail that day, including your UPS, FedEx, or USPS delivery person.
How to outsmart the coronavirus
But I don’t want you to stress over this TOO much.
It’s not clear yet if COVID-19 survives in levels that can actually cause infection.
And even if does, the coronavirus can’t jump off your junk mail… can’t leap into your nostrils from an Amazon.com box… and it won’t crawl out of your electric bill, up your arm, and then into your mouth. It needs help. It has to get onto your hands and THEN into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
So after you open your mail or packages – with disposable gloves if you have them – carefully remove the contents. Then toss the envelopes and boxes and go wash your hands thoroughly.
If you want to be extra-extra safe, and the package is not urgent, you could even leave it in a corner and wait 24 hours before handling it.
In other words, don’t be afraid of your mail and packages. Just use common sense when handling them.