Remember the feeling of joy that new parcels and deliveries used to elicit some two months ago? Well, that certainly isn’t the case anymore as every tiny things outside the vicinity of our homes inspire a certain degree of suspicion these days. However, with the nationwide lockdown in place, home delivery remains the safest option to access basic supplies, again, an anxiety-provoking task for so many owing to all the coronavirus scares. But can we really contract the infection from these packages and exposed surfaces? Well, we sought an expert’s opinion to clear this out for you.
Dr. Rommel Tickoo, Associate Director, Internal Medicine at Max Healthcare told POPxo, “A recent study published by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported that the causal agent of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is able to persist for up to 24 hours on cardboard, in experimental settings (e.g. controlled relative humidity and temperature).”
However, she also added that “There is no evidence of the infection being transmitted through contaminated packages that have been exposed to different environmental conditions and temperatures.”
Thus, while it looks like it is unlikely to catch an infection from contaminated packages that have been exposed to varying atmospheres, it is only safe to be cautious right now. Additionally, ordering your supplies instead of going out is also a safer practice right now since going out will expose you to greater risk than your package. Having said that, it’s always safe to practise precautions instead of risking getting infected while being outdoors. Here are some precautions that you should follow while handling your deliveries:
This is important for you as well as the delivery person’s safety that you maintain a distance of 6 feet. Don’t just barge out and pounce on your delivery person the instant you hear your doorbell just coz you haven’t seen other humans in the longest time. Remember they are as scared of contracting the virus as you are. Thus, politely ask them to keep the parcel outside your door and do the same with your money in case it’s a COD order (try paying online though).
If doable, leave your parcel in an isolated corner of your house before fishing out its contents just to be safe. Let it sit in an open, ventilated areas where chances of the virus surviving remains relatively grim.
The delivery agents across the country have been instructed to wear a mask all the time. However, it is always good to ensure that they have their masks on before you engage in any sort of communication or engagement with them and take the package. Whenever you are interacting with your delivery agent, make it a habit to put on your mask and open the door. Wearing a mask at home is not ludicrous and, in fact, very very important while engaging in similar situations and to avoid infection.
Wash your hands immediately after receiving your parcel. And like we have been already told, wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing happy birthday, twice! Also, don’t keep the water running while you are at it.
Now, while it is advisable to let the parcel sit alone for a good while, it is not always doable especially in case of food and medical supplies. This is when sanitisation comes to rescue. Thoroughly sanitise the packaging before you open the parcel. Also, don’t forget to sanitise the area where the delivery agent left it.
Lastly, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry!
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