It is easy to worry about getting a parcel during this pandemic, and we owe it to ourselves to keep whatever sanity we have left, so if it is something that is preying on your mind, the following may help.
Important – I am not a doctor and this is not qualified medical advice. I took a first aid course in 1977. The information below comes from checking sources I trust and setting out a plan that I’m sure many readers have considered. I consider this as a starting point, and perhaps some reassurance. If you have any doubts, please consult a qualified medical practitioner or check trusted sources on the internet.
You finally recieve the package you have been waiting for. What should happen is that the postman or delivery driver should ring your bell or call you and leave the package on your doorstep, waiting for you to pick the package up while keeping an appropriate distance. This is to protect both of you.
Then you bring the package in. According to the BBC and their research here, the Coronavirus survives for 72 hours on cardboard and up to four days on surfaces such as metal or plastic. The parcel you have just brought in may well have the virus on it’s surface. This does not mean that you have brought in the virus in concentrated form or that you will immediately contract the illness. It means that you have to be sensible.
Step One – Dispose of the packaging appropriately. The packaging is not biological hazardous waste. It can still be recycled if appropriate. However it is a good idea to get it out of the way. You are unlikely to contract the disease by breathing air from the same room as the packaging. However if the virus is on the packaging, it is transmitted via touch, so get it out of the way so you don’t have to keep touching it. Avoid touching your face throughout.
Step Two – wipe over the contents with something like bleach or disinfectant. Do not mix cleaners as you can produce chlorine gas if you mix bleach with ammonia. Washing fabric at the highest temperature possible according to the care label with a modern powder or using some of the in-wash disinfectants would work for clothing, but from what I have found, the Coronavirus doesn’t survive a long time on fabric anyway. If there is no way to wash or disinfect the item, and you are concerned, then putting it out of the way while you practice good hygiene and handwashing for a few days should be fine. Covid-19 does not last for ever outside a human.
Step Three – wash your hands with soap to whichever tune you are enjoying and that lasts at least twenty seconds.
Step Four – look after your mental health. Getting a package through the post does not mean that you are likely to be infected. It means that there is a possibility of being infected. Being sensible and washing your hands will go a long way to keeping you safe. There are no guarantees, but if you take sensible steps, the risk is reduced. Unpack your goodies, dispose of the packaging, wipe over with whatever cleaner you choose, wash your hands and then enjoy your goodies.
This is a stressful time, and you can find yourself worrying more than is healthy. The World Health Organisation has published a brief guideline about Mental Health at this time which is here and is worth a look.
I hope this post has made you feel a little more comfortable if you were worrying about getting a parcel. Wishing you all health.