Don’t panic about shopping, getting delivery or accepting packages

HU-885118952

Getting mail and packages inside the house has become a labored process for us these days. With reports of covid-19 living on surfaces, we've taken to staging the transfer of outside, "contaminated", stuff to inside, "decontaminated" stuff using our garage.

Now I know we're not a negative pressure room or autoclave, but it's given me some peace of mind to disinfect and wipe down mail and packages and leave non perishables out in the garage for a few days, so any contamination "dies".

Of course hand washing and not touching your face is first and foremost, but every extra measure to seal our little bubble gives me solace, as does this article. The WaPo will allow anyone to click through and read, and I've posted it in its entirety.

If it makes you feel any better, "The risks are small and manageable".

Don’t panic about shopping, getting delivery or accepting packages


"A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine is making people think twice about how they might be exposed to covid-19 if they open a box delivered by UPS, touch packages at the grocery store or accept food delivery.

The risk is low. Let me explain.

First, disease transmission from inanimate surfaces is real, so I don’t want to minimize that. It’s something we have knownfor a long time; as early as the 1500s, infected surfaces were thought of as “seeds of disease,” able to transfer disease from one person to another.

In that new NEJM study, here’s the finding that is grabbing headlines: The coronavirus that causes covid-19 “was detectable . . . up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.”

The key word here is “detectable.”

Yes, the virus can be detected on some surfaces for up to a day, but the reality is that the levels drop off quickly. For example, the article shows that the virus’s half-life on stainless steel and plastic was 5.6 hours and 6.8 hours, respectively. (Half-life is how long it takes the viral concentration to decrease by half, then half of that half, and so on until it’s gone.)

Now, let’s examine the full causal chain that would have to exist for you to get sick from a contaminated Amazon package at your door or a gallon of milk from the grocery store.

In the case of the Amazon package, the driver would have to be infected and still working despite limited symptoms. (If they were very ill, they would most likely be home; if they had no symptoms, it’s unlikely they would be coughing or sneezing frequently.) Let’s say they wipe their nose, don’t wash their hands and then transfer some virus to your package.

Even then, there would be a time lag from when they transferred the virus until you picked up the package at your door, with the virus degrading all the while. In the worst-case scenario, a visibly sick driver picks up your package from the truck, walks to your front door and sneezes into their hands or directly on the package immediately before handing it to you.

Even in that highly unlikely scenario, you can break this causal chain.

In the epidemiological world, we have a helpful way to think about it: the “Sufficient-Component Cause model.” Think of this model as pieces of a pie. For disease to happen, all of the pieces of the pie have to be there: sick driver, sneezing/coughing, viral particles transferred to the package, a very short time lapse before delivery, you touching the exact same spot on the package as the sneeze, you then touching your face or mouth before hand-washing.

In this model, the virus on the package is a necessary component, but it alone is not sufficient to get you sick. Many other pieces of the pie would have to be in place.

So this is what you can do to disassemble the pie — to cut the chain.

You can leave that cardboard package at your door for a few hours — or bring it inside and leave it right inside your door, then wash your hands again. If you’re still concerned there was any virus on the package, you could wipe down the exterior with a disinfectant, or open it outdoors and put the packaging in the recycling can. (Then wash your hands again.)

What about going to the grocery store? The same approach applies.

Shop when you need to (keeping six feet from other customers) and load items into your cart or basket. Keep your hands away from your face while shopping, and wash them as soon as you’re home. Put away your groceries, and then wash your hands again. If you wait even a few hours before using anything you just purchased, most of the virus that was on any package will be significantly reduced. If you need to use something immediately, and want to take extra precautions, wipe the package down with a disinfectant. Last, wash all fruits and vegetables as you normally would.

We should all be grateful for those who continue to work in food production, distribution and sales, and for all those delivery drivers. They’re keeping us all safer by allowing us to stay home. And, as I said, the risk of disease transmission from surfaces is real. We can never eliminate all risk; the goal is to minimize it — because we all will occasionally need to go grocery shopping and receive supplies in the mail.

But if you take basic precautions, including washing your hands frequently, the danger from accepting a package from a delivery driver or from takeout from a local restaurant or from buying groceries is de minimis. That’s a scientific way of saying, “The risks are small, and manageable.”

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Kathy

Dr Fauci said the same thing recently. The biggest risk is ingesting any droplets from a person with the disease. Doorknobs and handles are particularly dangerous if someone has touched them recently after coughing or sneezing. Breathing in droplets or touching them and not washing your hands.

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Stan Areted

Thank you for the informative and reassuring information!


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HU-885118952

Here's a video that's been making the rounds about getting outside stuff inside and "safe".



https://youtu.be/ZYOnnZ13Syg


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HU-885118952

Kathy, we're disinfecting doorknobs and light switches, especially those closest to our doors.

This is where smart home technology can come in handy!

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elvis

Thank you, HU. Good information presented in a positive and straightforward manner. Let's hear more about what we can do to stay safe, and less about what we can't do to stay safe.

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Nana H

Good information. I have been on the fence about ordering some things we need online but this is somewhat reassuring. We need to think of the delivery people too , so perhaps best to order only that which you really need.

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Kathy

I have thought about leaving a tip in an envelope for deliveries. They just ring the bell and are gone. I never see them quick enough. They are definitely essential.

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terezosa / terriks

I don't bring anything into my house until I have either wiped it down, or left it in the garage for a few days. I'm using the back of my car as cleaning/containment zone, where I keep antibac/antiviral cleaning solution and cloths.

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Joaniepoanie

Thanks for posting but I have to laugh—— aren’t the right always screaming the WaPo is fake news?

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chipotle

Dr. Fauci has been saying this all along. He recently said it again in an interview with Trevor Noah.




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foodonastump

I’m always glad to read these things and find that overall I’m either on the right track, or tending towards overkill. My MIL sent me that video yesterday. The one thing that bothers me is that I’ve allowed my front entrance to come the stage 2 landing zone (stage 1 being the front porch for a few hours or a day) and it’s accumulating cardboard boxes which I like to keep for shopping. I wasn’t overly aware of it until my sister dropped by to drop some stuff off. I realized the one part of my house she saw was a mess. Oops!

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Ann

Thanks! Good info. More and more articles and reports coming out saying how incredibly important it is to not touch your face, but some may be slightly overdoing things like disinfecting mail (but we still are).

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foodonastump

Kathy - I’d like to tip, too, but it’s so random who drops stuff off, there’s just too many. White vans, amazon vans, UPS, FedEx. It wasn’t long ago that everything came from the same UPS driver. If that were the case still, I’d be tipping him. But now I don’t recognize anyone, ever.

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Kathy

FOAS, I really am not concerned who, they are all out risking their health. Every delivery I will start leaving $5 for coffee.

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kadefol

Thank you for that. I was really nervous that we have to head out to do some necessary grocery shopping this week, but I feel a lot better now.

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Ann

Kadefol, it's a nice task to get done right now. I'm working on a plan of 1 store, 1 time, once every 10th day. Also, only me and not my husband with me, to keep our public presence as low as possible for our sake and the sake of others. That one trip every 10th day is my only visit to an indoor establishment at present and none at all for my husband. We walk an hour a day, but only where there are virtually no other people. We have one walk through a neighborhood, but we cross the street if we see anyone approaching on the same side we're on. Sometimes the other walker does that before us, so we're finding walkers, joggers and bikers are being super attentive about social distancing.

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maifleur03

Be aware that some companies do not allow their drivers to accept tips. If it is not taken that may be the reason.

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Kathy

Thanks Maifleur.

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HU-885118952

USPS mailpersons can't accept gifts or gifts over a certain amount. It is tough to tip all of the delivery persons when they are so fast.

I also would love to give the trash collectors something extra, but they move FAST! They are really out on the front lines, doing the necessary job of removing waste

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Kathy

Lol, Strikes me funny at this moment. We can’t even catch them.

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heri_cles

Amazon workers in at least 10 U.S. warehouses have tested positive for coronavirus, marking an escalation at the company that could endanger the health of its workforce as well as its ability to deliver food and other household staples to millions of Americans unable to leave their homes.

Fauci, aka Dr. Doom and Mr, Hyde, is beginning to lose credibility as Dr. Brix has.

" if you take basic precautions, including washing your hands frequently,
the danger from accepting a package from a delivery driver or from
takeout from a local restaurant or from buying groceries is de minimis."




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Ann

"Fauci, aka Dr. Doom and Mr, Hyde, is beginning to lose credibility as Dr. Brix has."

Heri, when did you decide Fauci and Brix began to lose credibility or did you always question their credibility?

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elvis

" if you take basic precautions, including washing your hands frequently,
the danger from accepting a package from a delivery driver or from
takeout from a local restaurant or from buying groceries is de minimis."

Of course, you shouldn't be in close contact with the driver, and should keep in mind the surface contact timelines/guidelines mentioned in the OP.

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heri_cles

when did you decide Fauci and Brix began to lose credibility or did you always question their credibility?

when they started kissing Trump's __.

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heri_cles

accepting a package from
takeout from a local restaurant

Get it while it''s hot !


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sheesh(5b)

Our trash and recycling collectors do so from inside the truck, completely automated, absolutely no way to tip them.

We are picking up our groceries from Aldi and Pick n Save. The shoppers wave to us, place groceries in the trunk and leave. there is no contact at all. Perfect. So far there have been no mishaps or incorrect charges or items, the meats and produce have been just what I would have chosen. We put the cash tip in the rolled up rear window and the shopper snatches it. It's great!

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Kathy

DD garbage collectors will not pick up anything not in the can because the can id]s dumped with the truck hoist (whatever). They will not handle any bags or trash.

thanks Sheesh. I haven’t even been able to get grocery pickup they are so backlogged.

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sheesh(5b)

Kathy, yes. We have to order six or seven days out! Hard to know what to order that way.

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heri_cles

Ann said: when did you decide Fauci...began to lose credibility or did you always question their credibility?

RWers have been doing that for some time.

"An analysis by The New York Times found more than 70 accounts on Twitter
that have promoted the hashtag #FauciFraud, with some tweeting as
frequently as 795 times a day. The anti-Fauci sentiment is being
reinforced by posts from Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, a
conservative group; Bill Mitchell, host of far-right online talk show
“YourVoice America”; and other outspoken Trump supporters such as Shiva
Ayyadurai, who has falsely claimed to be the inventor of email.

Many of the anti-Fauci posts, some of which pointed to a
seven-year-old email that the doctor had sent praising Hillary Clinton
when she was secretary of state, have been retweeted thousands of times.
On YouTube, conspiracy-theory videos about Fauci have racked up
hundreds of thousands of views in the past week. In private Facebook
groups, posts disparaging him have also been shared hundreds of times
and liked by thousands of people, according to the Times analysis.

One anti-Fauci tweet Tuesday said, “Sorry liberals but we don’t trust Dr. Anthony Fauci.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/technology/coronavirus-fauci-trump-conspiracy-target.html


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Tilly Teabag

Anyone working with the public should be wearing mask and gloves. Also an asymptomatic person can shed this virus. Some studies claim that they shed it more than symptomatic people, though I can’t envision how that works.

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Tilly Teabag

When I spoke to our postal worker he said they are issued with hand sanitiser.

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HU-885118952

fyi, as you consider home delivery of groceries, Amazon and Instacart are planning on going on strike today if they don't get demands met. They want hazard pay and basic PPE.

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Kathy

Can’t say I blame them. I hope they get it. It is reasonable.

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