Mail – new best friend or menace?

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Is mail the highlight of the social distance day or a sneaky invader?

Life is locked down at our house. A family high risk health condition has us full-on embracing social distancing. No wiggle room! The closest physical contact we enjoy is yelling across the road to the neighbors and waving. Wow – what a party!

So maybe it makes sense that mail and package delivery is suddenly the day’s highlight. The delivery guy – a true American essential services hero – places on our porch a little item that’s packed in a box 14 times its needed size. I can’t help but feel a new and mysterious friend is sending gifts my way. Someone out there cares about us! Who knows what’s in there: printer ink, sidewalk chalk for the kids, canned soup, or – against all odds – toilet paper? Now I know the only reason the delivery came our way is the cold hard cash pulled straight from my own credit card. But somehow I convince myself I have a buddy out there looking out for my best interests, sending me what I need at the very moment I need it. I even get a tiny buzz from junk mail, and all I do is dump it straight from the mailbox into the recycle bin!

But one little thought creeps in and starts to grow, grow, grow. Who has touched this thing? Am I inviting some menace into our home?

Well, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Surgeon General have all said there is no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. The CDC says the chance of “an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low.” On top of that, “the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and been exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” So – I’m going with no menace. Of course, you’ll find me washing my hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds right after.

All the same, it might be circling around in the back of your brain that the tiny word is low and not 100% totally impossible. So, if you’re still worried, look up the CDC’s guidance on cleaning and disinfecting households. Scrub away and the mail will be your new best friend. A very, very clean new best friend.