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    • As @Pathfinder pointed out, I don't reuse the gloves after handling mail and packages. In my mind, the gloves are contaminated and require quarantine. I take them off and lay them right next to the mail pile. They also get transferred to Day 2 or Day 3. I haven't reused any gloves yet, but plan on doing so after a couple of weeks. Here is the current status of the quarantine zone:

    • I don't know if there is a shortage of safety gear, or if that is a personal choice, but not every letter carrier wears gloves. Honestly, I'm very grateful to everyone involved in getting the mail to my front door. They are out on the front lines. But it is up to me to stop the coronavirus spread inside my home.

    • Amazon package delivery crew is probably the most susceptible to coronavirus exposure. They are juggling packages and running around all day. They are our true crisis heroes, and I wish them to stay safe and healthy. We need them now more than ever!

    • Thanks for the link!

      I checked out the direct link for donations:

      It looks like they don't accept open glove boxes. I'll look around the garage to see if I have any unopened ones. Here are the guidelines:

      We are currently accepting new supplies for use by hospital and clinic staff and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospital & Clinics, O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Hospital.  These supplies include personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other items.  Review the list below for details.  Equivalent supplies from other manufacturers will be accepted.  Any quantity, including very large amounts, are accepted.  No opened boxes or materials past use date/expired, please.

    • Seems like a bit of overkill to be honest, but with your dad in the house I can understand not wanting to take any risks. In this case it's definitely better to be safe than sorry.

      I think if you were to just wipe everything down with rubbing alcohol that should suffice. Even working in a research lab where contamination can undo hours or days or work, we usually just disinfect surfaces with 70% ethanol and call it a day.

      I haven't read much into the survivability of COVID19, but from my understanding it's highly contagious, not necessarily highly robust. Just like any other virus, it too can easily be dealt with just by practising good hygiene.

      Hope you and your family will stay safe and healthy 😀

    • Who would have ever thought we would be having this sort of a conversation, @Richard

      No kidding, Jim. It's remarkable how quickly everything has changed.

      I read the recommendations here and also consulted with my daughter, who's a molecular biologist by training. Also looked at some stuff about survival time on surfaces from the NIH. I concluded that it probably wasn't necessary to worry about the contents of the box, but that I had to take greater precautions than I had been planning with the box itself. So I took delivery outside of my apartment, wearing gloves and with a large plastic bag, in which I placed the package. Then I used a damp cloth to wipe any dust off the package and opened it within the bag. The machine was in another box, which was shrink wrapped. I took off the gloves and took that box inside. Then I closed the plastic bag with the cloth and gloves inside and carried it to the garbage bin outside, came back inside and put my sweatshirt in the wash and washed my hands and forearms. It felt like something out of Chernobyl, or pehaps more cautious than they were. The bad news is that it made me realize that I should probably have been taking the same precautions with the grocery deliveries I've been receiving for the past two weeks.

    • You know, at Chernobyl, at least that had Geiger counters or something to help them gauge the risks.

      Now we get to roll the dice, and find out in three to fourteen days, what we rolled! 😬

      Sounds like you should be just fine.

      I was more cautious in my approach to EarPods Pro , only because they were going to be worn in contact with my skin for hours at a time. I felt what I did was probably overkill, but easy enough to do that I woudn’t skip it.

    • We’ve been getting produce in plastic bags (yuck) from Instacart and out of abundance of caution I leave them on the porch overnight (it’s refrigerator temp at night here), then I place them in the sunshine for a few hours in the a.m. before bringing them in the house.

      But microbiologists are by and large playing down the risks, no? Like this prof from Harvard:

    • Yeah, I thought I was the only paranoid one, but @Richard and @Vilen convinced me I wasn't really crazy, after all. Or at least, not the only anxious citizen........

      Maybe being more cautious just calms my anxieties more - ok, a few hours sitting in the sun is cheap for that comfort, isn't it? Being less anxious is probably a good thing these days.

      Sealed plastic bags COULD be soaked for 5 or 10 minutes in warm soapy water without harming anything I think, and then carefully rinsed - that should be even more effective than just sunshine which might miss a few shadow areas that you are unaware of.

      My sister sent me a link about using dilute bleach directly on produce - I told her that was nuts, toxic, and dangerous - DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER DOING IT. You can't hardly believe anything you read on the web anymore.

      But a little Dawn in water on plastic packages, then rinsed off isn't going to harm anyone.

    • My family wipes everything down from the grocery store with antibacterial wipes before storing them. I'm not entirely sure how helpful it would be to leave groceries out overnight and in the sun. Was that recommended to you by someone?

    • I'm not entirely sure how helpful it would be to leave groceries out overnight and in the sun

      Yikes, I saw @Pathfinder 's post in another thread and because he has been so helpful and I have so much respect, and assumed...

      Regular sun borne UV light is remarkably effective - if one cultures the surfaces of sun exposed roads or parking lots the amount of bacteria or fungi alive on their surfaces is actually rather small.

      I was involved with some remediation in a health care facility years ago and I would see the colony counts of the agar test plates in rooms, hall ways, office surfaces during remediation - frequently in the ~30,000 - 60,000 on an exposed open plate. A control plate from the parking lot outside the building in sunlight would be 30 colonies, or 50 colonies. But from a wooded garden over 250,000....

      Your post made me ask Google and it says:

      But... leaving the groceries out for awhile is time and time is important, right?

    • Respectfully, I call misinformation on your article share from Politi-Fact.

      My first concern was that the author, Daniel Funke, is not a doctor, a scientist, or a science or medical writer for the website. He’s a staff writer.

      Second concern is that he appears to have Googled his research. Notice that there isn’t mention of one phone call to a doctor, scientist or disease specialist to get an expert’s take on this?

      Third, contrary to his falsehood, UNICEF never explicitly addressed sun exposure. From the UNICEF statement, which can be found here in it’s entirety, is the only related paragraph:

      For example, a recent erroneous online message circulating in several languages around the world and purporting to be a UNICEF communication appears to indicate, among other things, that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue.

      Based on the misleading reporting and the lack of a medical research background, how confident should we be with the reporter’s claim that “There is no evidence that sun exposure kills the coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19”?

      A lot of the relevant studies on virus exposure to sunlight may be behind a paywall, and therefore didn’t show up in the reporter’s “exhaustive” Google Search.

      By contrast, here’s great reporting by NBC News where they shot down the claim with relevant SCIENCE:

      Neither the CDC or the World Health Organization list sunlight exposure as a way to prevent coronavirus.

      High-intensity UV light can kill the virus. But the natural UV rays from the sun are not strong enough. Experts say temperatures have to be higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill a virus.

      They also cited a recent BBC interview with Trudie Lang, professor of Global Health at the University of Oxford.

    • I apologize if it seemed that I was saying sunlight will sterilize surfaces. That is not what I described.

      I didn't precisely say sunlight would totally sterilize a Corona virus contaminated surface, either.

      I said prolonged sunlight exposure greatly dimishes cultured colony counts of bacteria and fungi on sun exposed asphalt surfaces - That is a fact. The effect is almost certainly due to the UV light within sunlight. Dessication MAY play a role too,

      Do I suspect strong direct sunlight for a few hours in mid-day reduces viral counts on exposed surface - Yes, I am pretty certain it does. Is bleach more effective - almost certainly.

      Would I suggest soap and hot water as more effective than sunlight? Probably, if done routinely, and is even possible. I can let my mail lie in the sun for a few hours; washing it in hot soap and water will probably destroy it - the mail I mean.

      I do know that strong UV light is very effective at decontaminating exposed surfaces. The University of Nebraska Medical Center used it to decontaminate Ebola contaminated patient rooms a few years ago, and is currently exploring its use in decontaminating used face masks, due to the extreme face mask shortage currently occurring.

      Should we all be wearing face masks, versus just the walking ill? Despite govenments attempts to suggest standard surgical masks are not much help, there is much credible evidence they can be of significant value in pandemics - most Asian citizens are wearing masks, and with pretty good reasons, as described in this article by the New York Times.

      There are facts, truth, and generally but not always totally true facts. Is it better to never re-use masks?? Yes, if you have enough that you never run out of masks. But if you don't have enough masks, which is better? Going without, or re-using decontaminated masks? Questions we in the West never thought we would seriously be asking ourselves.

      Is sunlight more effective than nothing at reducing viral loads on contaminated surfaces? I believe it is, but to truly answer this required carefully culturing mutiple spots on the surface of treated versus untreated surfaces in multiple cell cultures, and then counting the results.

      A long, complex, and expensive study that I suspect probably has not even been performed, since the goal with Corona virus is total decontamination which requires a viralcidal technique of some sort.

      What we DO KNOW, is that UV light ( of sufficient strength, exposure, wavelength ) DOES decontaminate Ebola surfaces if done appropriately.

    • Thanks, Pathfinder. Your posts are always great. I just made a careless assumption and am very glad to be corrected.

    • Apparently from your last link to nbc, some folks think that enough sunlight will decontaminate/remove the virus from within their bodies - which I am certain not a single physician or virologist would remotely entertain. Those kinds of false information grow like weeds on the web.

    • I certainly did not want to contribute misinformation either.

      It MAY be that Corna virus is more resistant to sunlight than Ebola or other human viruses are, but then it comes down to precisely how much, if any difference. I can't seem to readily find that information on the web

      I assumed that the Corona virus would be affected, like most microscopic life forms, negatively by sunlight on surfaces receiving prolonged direct sunlight exposure. If that is not true I stand corrected.

      Many of those links about sunlight and the Corona virus are suggesting that longer warmer sunnier days will help break the pandemic, a suggestion I have cautioned several times is probably not true. Apparently some were suggesting beaches were safer due to the sunlight.

      The virus is spread person to person, not by folks licking sand, or asphalt.. Sadly.

      Your favorite newpaper I understand - UV seems to work, sunlight not mentioned.

      The medical professions, physicians, nurses, hospitals, medical researchers, have know that sunlight and natural ventilation are all helpful in diminishing hospital aquired infections - an idea that was present over 160 years ago in the construction of hospitals during the Civil War and the Crimean War,

      is discussed in this 2013 paper in The Journal of Hospital Infections

      A favorite nurse of my wife, Florence Nightingale is even mentioned in this paper. My spouse made certain we went to her hospital when we were in London a few years ago.

      This paper describes a lot of dangerous pathogens the human race has faced over the centuries. Smallpox was proven to be air borne when researchers got infected on shipboard, over 15 kilometers off infected areas onshore.

    • Here is an article from the Washington Post saying EVERYONE should wear masks when they leave home to protect themsleves and others, especially if they are not ill.

      The author lists 34 papers suggesting that mask use DOES IN FACT reduce ones likelihood of not being infected - even if the mask may have been homemade.... The article links several papers which shows that two layes of T shirt materiel significantly reduce ones virus exposure - not as good as an N95, but significantly better than nothing which is what most of us have been advised to wear - NOTHING!!

      I actually believed this all along, but our governments, here in the US and Europe and others, have been lying to us in their desire to not alarm the public or to keep masks for front line personnel. I am convinced this is a good idea - not a perfect or ideal idea, but the best we can get under the present circumstances.

      In the Czech Republic has passed a law requiring masks to leave one's home. Home made masks are even being allowed for use in some limited hospitals. I posted earlier about the re-use of mask at the University of Nebrasksa Medical Center.

      After looking at several of the links in article above, the most important thing universal masks would do is significantly decrease the aerosol spread of fomites from non-ill people who are actively infected by the Corona virus, but unaware of the fact that they are disseminating virus. This might significantly reduce risk for the uninfected members of the population and they are also wearing masks to help diminsh their exposure... Makes a lot of sense to me.

      If the US can't get everyone to stay home, at LEAST cover their noses and mouths as securely as possible - wearning NO MASK, is certainly not the most secure way to limit spread of the virus by the not ill but infected population - which is now somewhere between 1/100 or more to 1/few thousand all across North America - and possible even higher in some urban areas.

      I think all of our politicians should begin wearing masks, especially in press conferences - why all those folks are standing around a microphone talking, unmasked, makes absolutely no sense. If the public saw their politicians routinely wearing masks, I think the public would quickly catch on that this might be smart for them also

    • Following up on my post above, a video from the Czech Republic - which made 10 million masks in just three days and showed, they firmly believe, the masks are responsible for slowing down the viral spread in the Czech Republic.

      Wow - where there is a will, there is a way!!

      We should thank them, by emulating them.

      #Masks4All

    • Yeah, Anthony Fauci downplayed this as well. He didn't seem to think there was much danger bringing packages in, etc. He said the thing to watch for is handshakes and direct contact with someone who has the virus.

      That all said, I'm all for doing whatever gives you peace of mind.