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Concern About Incoming Mail

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Posted 03/14/2020   10:06 am  Show Profile Check wheelman's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add wheelman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I saw on a recent interview that this virus can live for three hours in the air and up to three days on plastic or stainless steel. No mention was made for other surfaces. Just wondering if anyone besides me is mildly concerned about taking mail out of the mailbox? Maybe wait at least a few hours or take it out of the box with rubber gloves and wipe it down before actually touching it. My wife is in the high risk category.

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Posted 03/14/2020   10:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My wife is a transplant patient and I always am proactive and cautious especially during flu season. I am not wearing gloves when retrieving mail but after I bring it in and open it I dispose of the envelopes and wash my hands whether or not there is any empirical evidence that mail can "carry" a virus. How far do we take it? The mail person touched the mailbox handle if you have that type of box. I suppose that I am potentially contaminating the door handle when I turn it after retrieving the mail.

I pump gas and touch the pump keypad and handle. After I pump gas I get into my vehicle and use hand sanitizer but I have already touched the door handle and usually the steering wheel whether I realize it or not. I use an ATM machine and touch the keypad. Coins and currency are famously dirty anyway. Swipe your credit or debit card and you have a potential contamination.

My wife has actually become more tolerant to many things, besides me, as the years have gone by since the transplant. Unintentional exposure (it cannot be avoided) seems to have helped just as children need to be exposed to the World rather than bubble wrapped.

My bottom line is that I do what I can but there are limits. Common sense should probably dictate?
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Posted 03/14/2020   10:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EdziuMM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I raised this question with one of my mail traders who lives in the Cascades in Washington state. He replied to me wth the following news story that was carried on CBS.

BY SOPHIE LEWIS
MARCH 5, 2020 / 5:11 PM / CBS NEWS

While it is theoretically possible that the virus could be present on the surface of a package, experts say it wouldn't last long. Dr. Jack Caravanos, clinical professor of Environmental Public Health Sciences at the NYU School of Global Public Health, told CBS News on Thursday that it is "highly improbable" due to the length of the journey and the harsh conditions it would face en route.

The coronavirus has "some environmental longevity (hours to days) depending on temperature, surface conditions, time and humidity," Caravanos said. But as the World Health Organization explains, "it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after it has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures."

"At this time, I truly believe viral transmission by contaminated packages is very unlikely." Caravanos said. "I would not take any special precautions opening or handling packages or envelopes."

"I have not seen any evidence to support transmission of the new coronavirus through mail and experts universally feel that the risk of spread from mail or packaging that is shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures is remote," Dr. Michael Merson, a dean's special adviser at the New York University School of Global Public Health, told CBS News on Thursday.

"Shipping conditions are usually not conducive to the virus remaining viable," he said. "The disease is spread primarily by respiratory droplets directly from one person to another and this should be our focus."

The World Health Organization puts it bluntly: "People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages."
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Posted 03/14/2020   10:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good article. I was thinking more in terms of the local mail folks/carrier handling mail just prior to and during delivery. A very long shot to be certain but outside of the scope of the CBS article.
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Posted 03/14/2020   11:20 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dr. Jack Caravanos, author of 'POLLUTION KNOWS NO BORDERS" and Director of Pure Earth. he has a PhD in Environmental Health (the health of the earth) and has no medical background. "In partnership with Pure Earth, an international non-profit organization, Dr. Caravanos is studying the impact of gold extraction with mercury in Peru and Indonesia."

This is no longer 1950 or 1960 so I no longer trust nor listen to any of the spun information that is trying to pass today as 'news'. For this topic, I go straight to a trusted source like the CDC.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Surface testing has lagged behind other research so very little empirical data exists, instead there is a lot of verbiage like "While we don't know for sure that this virus will behave the same way as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, we can use the information gained from both of these earlier coronaviruses to guide us." (from the CDC link above). In other words, even the CDC is speculating rather than stating accepted empirical research.

I have been immunocompromised for the last 6 years and average over 175 medical procedures per year. I spend so much time sitting in hospitals, clinics, infusion centers, dialysis centers, and medical offices that I consider myself a 'professional patient'. I needed to figure a way to prevent community illnesses like colds, flu etc. since they would kill me. Research showed that people touch their face an average of 23 times per hour but no matter how hard I tried I could not change this behavior in myself. So instead I approached the issue by keeping my hands sanitized. I started using hand sanitizer 2-3 times per hour, every hour I was awake. I also maintain 5 sets of 'medical clothes' that I wear exclusively at all medical appointments. When I come home from any medical procedure or am out in public, I strip off my clothes and shoes in the garage before entering the house. Of course the sanitizer dried my hands out and striping in the garage a bit inconvenient but I managed to not get any secondary infections that many of those around me succumbed to (and some died).

In terms of mail, I am not currently wearing gloves but do open the envelopes, throw them away, and immediately sanitize my hands. If I am opening a parcel or have purchased product, I wipe it down with an alcohol wipe. I avoid any handling of cash and certainly wear gloves when touching any shopping cart (research shows significant amount of fecal matter on shopping cart, I assume this is from babies and their diapers sitting in them).

These strategies outlined above have worked for me for the last 6 years, I have not gotten any community illness during this time.
Don
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Posted 03/14/2020   7:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Won't the easiest and simple solution be to put those packages in some corner for several days and be done with all the worries? I refer to stamp trade and such, that are not urgent and don't have to be opened immediately. On top of that, mail from abroad takes a few days to arrive, and if it's air-mail it is in sub celsius zero temperature part of the way, so according to the current publication, no overseas virus could have survived.
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Posted 03/15/2020   12:04 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like an older practice has resufaced at least in Italy - disinfected mail. While the cover makes for an interesting item of modern postal history. I would worry about the contents. Not sure exactly how this was disinfected.



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Posted 03/15/2020   01:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dry Tech to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Does the hole in your package smell like smoke. I read that Venice used smoke to disinfect mail in the middle ages. It sounds like a silly way to disinfect in the modern age but who knows?
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Posted 03/15/2020   09:15 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's not mine, but I found it on an Italian philatelic group on Facebook.
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Posted 03/16/2020   6:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobby131313 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I got this in my change today....

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Posted 03/16/2020   6:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 10/18/2020   4:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add helder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Since has been passed some months since the latest post, I would like to know from you guys:
Recently are you doing something different from putting the envelope in "quarantine" before opening it?
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Posted 10/18/2020   5:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The likelihood of the coronavirus surviving on a piece of paper for very long is very low. But maybe. Also mail sitting in my mailbox on a hot day isn't the best environment for anything. And that mail has been traveling for days so how does it even pick up the virus? Maybe the mail person sneezed on my mail? Possibly, but he always has a mask on. I tend not to touch my face, eyes, nose, or mouth when I bring in the mail "just in case" and I wash my hands after opening the mail (or doing much of anything these days). Itchy nose? I use the back of my wrist, not my hand. I just think worrying about unlikely things isn't a good use of my time. I'm much more likely to pick up the virus off a door handle or door "push" while entering a store -- and even more likely to get it from someone without a mask. In fact, people without masks are probably the main "vectors" of the spread of the disease since it's transmitted through the air relatively easily. Fortunately where I live in Southern California, I just never see anyone out without wearing a mask. Thank goodness we don't have those kinds of self-centered people, as far as I've seen anyway.
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Posted 10/18/2020   5:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I save our empty bread bags and always wear one while using a filling station gas pump.
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Posted 10/18/2020   5:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My wife works in a department store. They accept clothing returns but "quarantine" them for 72 hours before putting them back on the rack.
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Posted 10/18/2020   5:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I still "quarantine" the mail and wash my hands after retrieving it. Our postman is good about being careful but there have been a number of COVID cases in his post office so who knows. We're retired and, since we do just about everything online, mostly get junk mail so it's no big deal to put it aside for a while, even if the risk is low. I'm more concerned about the number of folks around here who don't bother to social distance or wear masks, whatever the arguments pro or con about the efficacy of masks. We have a large number of folks who deem themselves "libertarians" (I'd call it something else) w/r to complying with the state county, and local mandates on mask-wearing and avoiding gathering in large numbers. Just hope it all calms down so life can get more normal (not sure it'll ever be really "normal" in the sense of getting totally back to the past ways of doing things). be safe.
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Edited by Oracle of Delphi - 10/18/2020 5:49 pm
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