If you’ve spent the past three months living on the edge. If you’ve been afraid of your own mail. And you’ve been wary of even sitting on a bench on a beautiful spring day. Then I’ve got some GOOD coronavirus news to help put your mind at ease.
You don’t have to be downright terrified of touching things. And you certainly don’t need to completely avoid contact with everything and anything to prevent a COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
You still need to be smart, of course. You should avoid contact with other people and continue to wash your hands a lot if you go out.
But a new report from the CDC finds that all of those surfaces we’re so paranoid over… from can goods to Amazon packages… may not be quite as dangerous as we feared.
With some common sense and caution, you can get through your days with a little less stress.
How long does coronavirus last on surfaces?
It’s the question everyone’s been asking. Does the coronavirus lurk on everything from items at the grocery store to the mail in our mailbox just waiting to strike?
The answers have been alarming, with some reports saying the bug can survive on many common surfaces for DAYS. One report from the infamous Diamond Princess cruise ship found COVID-19 had survived on some surfaces for 17 days.
Researchers say the bug has different survival times on various surfaces, from 24 hours on cardboard like your Amazon packages to up to four days on glass.
But don’t start panicking just yet.
It turns out we may have been asking the wrong question all along. Because how long the coronavirus survives isn’t quite the same as how well it spreads from those surfaces or how easily it can cause an infection.
That’s where the new CDC guidelines help to fill out the picture. And where they can help to ease our fears.
The TRUTH about how COVID-19 spreads
Research reveals that even when COVID-19 survives on those surfaces, it may not spread or infect as easily as it does with person-to-person contact. Respiratory droplets that are released when we’re talking, coughing, sneezing, and even breathing is the main route of transmission.
Touching objects and surfaces, the agency said, is NOT the main way this virus spreads.
An infectious diseases expert at Yale University told USA Today that it’s because the “outer shell” of the coronavirus must remain intact for it to infect you. That’s a little tougher to pull off while it’s on surfaces and almost impossible when you wash both surfaces and your hands.
Now, OF COURSE, this doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. This is a brand new disease in humans and we still have a lot to learn about how it spreads. It’s not impossible to get infected from a virus on surfaces. It just may be a lot tougher than believed based on some of the earlier reports.
So you should consider this a reason to relax just a little bit. Go ahead and sit on that park bench and enjoy the sunshine and grab the mail from the mailbox without fear. But at the same DON’T relax on the measures you take to cut your risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Make “better safe than sorry,” your motto. Continue to wash your hands often, especially when you’re out touching a lot of shared surfaces. Don’t touch your face until after your hands have been cleaned. Wear a mask. Limit or avoid contact with others. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces. And take any other measures that can help ensure you stay healthy.