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Old 03-23-2020, 11:55 AM
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Should I be disinfecting packages that are delivered?


I've ordered a number of things on Amazon that are going to be arriving over the next few days. But I've seen some troubling figures on how long the virus can last on different surfaces. On paper/cardboard and plastic, it can apparently remain contaminated for four days.

When these packages are delivered, should I spray bleach or some other fluid on them (while they are sitting on the porch) before I bring them into the house? Or is that just taking "precaution" too far?
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:09 PM
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No. Just wash your hands when you're done.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:11 PM
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No. Just wash your hands when you're done.
Yesterday, I watched an Amazon delivery guy bring a stack of packages to our neighbor. He used his face - not his chin, literally his face - to hold the top package. Yes, wipe them down.

Last edited by Shmendrik; 03-23-2020 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:14 PM
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Gloves are probably cheaper, easier, and unlimited. I'd conserve the spray for situations where you can't use gloves in case it becomes hard to replace.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0320192755.htm

You could always use a sock if you don't have gloves.

Though, one thing to consider is that to some extent the goal isn't so much to not get sick as it is to not get sick at the wrong moment.

If you're young, healthy, have no underlying conditions, have someone who can take care of you, a good supply of food, and can stay away from other people for a few weeks, then it might be a good time to get sick and gain immunity. (Obviously, there is the risk that you have an underlying condition that you didn't know about.)

But, if you figure that slowly, we will all become less good about being strict and more expected to go to the workplace, go to public events, etc. even though we shouldn't, then getting sick then will be worse because you will be contagious and in regular contact with others.

If you can get sick and not be a drag on the hospital system, right now, then it's sort of a social good. But, you need to be damn sure that you won't become a drag on the hospital system.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 03-23-2020 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:18 PM
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Gloves are probably cheaper, easier, and unlimited. I'd conserve the spray for situations where you can't use gloves in case it becomes hard to replace.



https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0320192755.htm



You could always use a sock if you don't have gloves.



Though, one thing to consider is that to some extent the goal isn't so much to not get sick as it is to not get sick at the wrong moment.



If you're young, healthy, have no underlying conditions, have someone who can take care of you, a good supply of food, and can stay away from other people from a few weeks, then it might be a good time to get sick and gain immunity. (Obviously, there is the risk that you have an underlying condition that you didn't know about.)



But, if you figure that slowly, we will all become less good about being strict and more expected to go to the workplace, go to public events, etc. even though we shouldn't, then getting sick then will be worse because you will be contagious and in regular contact with others.



If you can get sick and not be a drag on the hospital system, right now, then it's sort of a social good. But, you need to be damn sure that you won't become a drag on the hospital system.
You're joking, right?
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:19 PM
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You're joking, right?
Receiving packages is unidirectional.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:36 PM
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You're joking, right?
Doesn't sound like a joke to me. There are several predictions that show most people, or a range including half of people, getting sick. It's better to get sick before the big wave: better for the sick person who can get medical care and be more likely to survive, and better for the majority of people who are getting sick in the big wave when they'd have to compete for limited resources, because by getting sick early you're relieving the wave a little.

Now, maybe it's practically difficult to know you can get sick before the main wave, so the advice isn't actionable, or even induces people to contribute to the wave. We are weighing terrible alternatives here. And maybe the uglier predictions are way off and we won't be resource limited.

But, on the whole, the idea is at least plausibly a good one.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:45 PM
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If you're vulnerable or will be visiting vulnerable people, might I suggest leaving the outer packages outside? Unpack the boxes and bring the stuff inside, and either leave the boxes on the porch or put them in the garage.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:17 PM
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Depending on our individual concerns, I think we should all take whatever protective precautions we're willing to. Personally, I receive a lot of mail and being a high risk person, I am willing to take quite a few.

For the reasons stated by the OP, I use gloves to open mail and packages.

I have a room segregated for mail opening and if possible, I leave it alone for a few days before responding/filing, etc. For cardboard packages, I don't open them in the house. I keep a utility sink full of water with bleach at the back entrance to my home. Everything that comes into the house is given a dip before it travels any further, if dipping is feasible.

If I can't disinfect with a dip or a wipe, then into the COVID-19 room it goes for the requisite number of days before I handle the item again. Then wash hands and disinfect any surface the item may have touched.

Cardboard packaging is dispatched to the workshop where it awaits final disposal when I next haul to the tip.

To some this may seem excessive, but I think we can all assess our individual risks and willingness to ameliorate them within our private domains.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
I've ordered a number of things on Amazon that are going to be arriving over the next few days. But I've seen some troubling figures on how long the virus can last on different surfaces. On paper/cardboard and plastic, it can apparently remain contaminated for four days.

When these packages are delivered, should I spray bleach or some other fluid on them (while they are sitting on the porch) before I bring them into the house? Or is that just taking "precaution" too far?
Taking it too far would be setting it on fire; bleaching is a rational measure as long as you don't over-bleach it.

If it's not in a place where it's likely to be stolen, I'd leave it outside for 24 hours, wear disposable gloves, spray some disinfectant or wipe it down with an ammonia-based cleanser, toss the gloves and the box, then wash your hands thoroughly.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:36 PM
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Aspenglow, do you mean that you're letting a sink full of bleach water sit around for significant periods of time?

Because the bleach will probably dissipate into the air if so.

-- and try to avoid breathing bleach fumes. That's not good for you.
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:44 PM
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Aspenglow, do you mean that you're letting a sink full of bleach water sit around for significant periods of time?

Because the bleach will probably dissipate into the air if so.

-- and try to avoid breathing bleach fumes. That's not good for you.
No, no, I understand your point and I made mine inartfully. When I know I'm bringing a load of stuff in that needs disinfecting, say after a trip to the market or a delivery is made, I partially fill the utility sink in my mud room and add a glug of bleach for a quick disinfecting wash. Once everything dippable is dipped and drying, I drain. (Alliteration for free. )

I doubt I could even walk through the room if I left it sitting full all the time. In general I'm not much of a bleach user due to being on a septic system, but this seems a quicker, more efficient way than using tons of wipes or even a spray bottle.

But thanks for helping me clarify.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:15 PM
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I've taken to spritzing anything that comes into the house with Lysol-- groceries delivered by the Shipt driver, packages, mail, etc. If it can, it sits on the deck for 72 hours before passing through the doorway. Other stuff that can't necessarily sit on the deck, gets spritzed and sits in a storage room in the basement for a few days. Junk mail gets tossed, regular mail gets spritzed and opened and dealt with. Hand washing ensues after all contact. Overly cautious? Perhaps, but I don't care.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:17 PM
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Is it really necessary to spray stuff with disinfectant AND let it sit for days? Isn't it sufficient to do one or the other? If you're spraying something with Lysol or bleach, doesn't that disinfect it immediately? Or are you implying that you think it takes days for the disinfectant to do its job?
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:29 PM
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Doesn't sound like a joke to me. There are several predictions that show most people, or a range including half of people, getting sick. It's better to get sick before the big wave: better for the sick person who can get medical care and be more likely to survive, and better for the majority of people who are getting sick in the big wave when they'd have to compete for limited resources, because by getting sick early you're relieving the wave a little.

Now, maybe it's practically difficult to know you can get sick before the main wave, so the advice isn't actionable, or even induces people to contribute to the wave. We are weighing terrible alternatives here. And maybe the uglier predictions are way off and we won't be resource limited.

But, on the whole, the idea is at least plausibly a good one.
Part of me thinks I might be better off catching it now and just getting it over with while there are still adequate resources available to deal with any severe symptoms, as there are currently only four confirmed cases in my county of 60k people and as of this afternoon none of them are hospitalized. However I definitely feel a responsibility to society to do whatever I can to limit the spread, and of course this includes not contracting the virus myself.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:36 PM
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Is it really necessary to spray stuff with disinfectant AND let it sit for days? Isn't it sufficient to do one or the other? If you're spraying something with Lysol or bleach, doesn't that disinfect it immediately? Or are you implying that you think it takes days for the disinfectant to do its job?
I don't think you need to do both. If I can't disinfect it with the bleach treatment or wipes, that's when I put it aside for a few days before handling. Example: I'm not going to bleach a head of lettuce or wipe down my onions. I can't spray my mail because received mail is integral to the work I do and the records can't be damaged. Those are things I set aside for a few days.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:43 PM
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Is it really necessary to spray stuff with disinfectant AND let it sit for days? Isn't it sufficient to do one or the other? If you're spraying something with Lysol or bleach, doesn't that disinfect it immediately? Or are you implying that you think it takes days for the disinfectant to do its job?
Directions from Lysolģ Max Coverô Disinfectant Mist - Brighter Horizon:
Quote:
Pre-clean surfaces prior to use. Hold can upright 6Ē to 8Ē from surface. Spray 6 to 7 seconds until covered with mist.

To Disinfect on hard surfaces:

Let stand for 3 minutes then allow to air dry. For Norovirus surfaces must remain wet for 10 minutes then allow to air dry.
Rinse toys and food contact surfaces with potable water after use.

To Sanitize on soft surfaces:

Let stand for 30 seconds then allow to air dry.

To control and prevent mold and mildew and their odors:

Apply to pre-cleaned surface. Allow to remain wet for 3 minutes. Let air dry.
Repeat applications in weekly intervals or when mold and mildew growth appears.

To Deodorize:

Spray on surface as need.
*When used as directed.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:07 PM
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When these packages are delivered, should I spray bleach or some other fluid on them (while they are sitting on the porch) before I bring them into the house? Or is that just taking "precaution" too far?
Personally I think thatís overkill but obviously youíre free to do what feels safe for you.
Even in the unlikely event you have live viruses on the packages, they arenít wafting from the surface nor are they going to be jumping out at you. Just donít lick the packages or your hands after touching them. You can use disposable gloves if you want to be extra careful or, just wash your hands.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:22 PM
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The virus doesn't survive on packaging long, and there continue to be no known cases of people contracting the virus from packaging.

Since it won't survive the entire shipping trip, the main issue I see are the people handling it getting something on it just before you receive the package. So my strategy has been to just let it sit for a while, in the elements, and then bring it in, dispose of the packaging, and wash my hands. If I touch something else before my hands are clean, I'll give it a quick wipe with disinfectant.

The main thing is that you can easily run out of items to use to disinfect, so I do think you'll want to use them only when necessary.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:24 PM
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Personally I think thatís overkill but obviously youíre free to do what feels safe for you.
Even in the unlikely event you have live viruses on the packages, they arenít wafting from the surface nor are they going to be jumping out at you. Just donít lick the packages or your hands after touching them. You can use disposable gloves if you want to be extra careful or, just wash your hands.
There actually isn't any such thing as overkill right now, unfortunately. There isn't enough information to know.

You have to make up a bleach solution and use it quickly as it breaks down easily.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:29 PM
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To add to everyone's paranoia, a wipe down using one of the many brands of disinfecting wipes is NOT adequate. The surface needs to be WET for a certain amount of time.

If you have no cuts or breaks to the skin, open the box, get your stuff out, THEN GO WASH YOUR HANDS. Handwashing is the most effective defense anyone cando.

Additionally, avoid any wet spots or snot or spit on the package.


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Old 03-23-2020, 08:06 PM
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The things I ordered are probably going to be smaller boxes or bags inside larger ones. For instance: three different disposable vapes, inside plastic packaging, which will probably be inside a little bag, which will probably be inside a cardboard box. A replacement drum head for a floor tom - it will be inside a cardboard box inside a cardboard box. Should I be concerned not only about the outer packaging, but something being spread from whoever packed the products INTO the outer packaging, touching the inner packaging?
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:15 PM
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The things I ordered are probably going to be smaller boxes or bags inside larger ones. For instance: three different disposable vapes, inside plastic packaging, which will probably be inside a little bag, which will probably be inside a cardboard box. A replacement drum head for a floor tom - it will be inside a cardboard box inside a cardboard box. Should I be concerned not only about the outer packaging, but something being spread from whoever packed the products INTO the outer packaging, touching the inner packaging?

No.

Just make sure after you unpack everything and break down the boxes that you WASH YOUR HANDS.


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Old 03-23-2020, 09:28 PM
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If you have no cuts or breaks to the skin, open the box, get your stuff out, THEN GO WASH YOUR HANDS. Handwashing is the most effective defense anyone cando.
We've never seen a single Coronavirus transmit through a bloodborne route. The key is to not get it into your eyes, nose or throat.

By default, any package that you don't need to deal with right away, you should let sit untouched for as long as you don't need it (disinfecting before hand if it's stupid simple to do). For the packages you absolutely need to us right now, there's plenty of fairly common sense suggestions in the thread.
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:38 AM
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From the New England Journal of Medicine

Quote:
The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:08 AM
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From the New England Journal of Medicine
Since you didn't reference it: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973

Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA
On cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours
[...]
The detection limit of our experiment is 0.5 log10 TCID50/mL.
Emphasis on the per mil. They measured a half-life on cardboard of ~3.5 hours.

Don't lick your packages. Wash your hands.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:33 PM
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We've never seen a single Coronavirus transmit through a bloodborne route. The key is to not get it into your eyes, nose or throat.

By default, any package that you don't need to deal with right away, you should let sit untouched for as long as you don't need it (disinfecting before hand if it's stupid simple to do). For the packages you absolutely need to us right now, there's plenty of fairly common sense suggestions in the thread.

I know coronavirus is not bloodborne. However, it's human nature to stick a cut or scrape in your mouth.


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Old 03-24-2020, 03:40 PM
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I received one Amazon package in the mailbox today. Here's the procedure I used: I took a pair of long-handled gardening shears and used them to open the door of the mailbox, remove the package (a padded paper mailer) and dragged it to the back deck of the house, where I sliced the end of the bag open with the shears, then grabbed the bag (with the shears) and held it up so that the contents fell out onto the deck on a separate area. Then used the shears to toss the packaging in the recycling bin, and placed the shears back into the garage.

I know I sound like Howard Hughes here but I figure, what's the HARM exactly in using caution like this when it's not overly inconvenient to do so? The fact is, any packages that get sent through the mail are probably handled by numerous people, and this is one way of circumventing a possible chain of infection, however slim the chances.

Last edited by Lamoral; 03-24-2020 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:54 PM
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I've ordered a number of things on Amazon that are going to be arriving over the next few days. But I've seen some troubling figures on how long the virus can last on different surfaces. On paper/cardboard and plastic, it can apparently remain contaminated for four days.

When these packages are delivered, should I spray bleach or some other fluid on them (while they are sitting on the porch) before I bring them into the house? Or is that just taking "precaution" too far?
They found COVID19 RNA on some surfaces on a cruise ship 17 days after the ship was empty. This might not be enough to infect you. These are outliers. Generally 3 days should be safe unless you have someone that is especially susceptible in your home.

It depends on who lives with you. Rules change if you have an 80 year old chemotherapy patient, or someone like that, in your household.

The point behind this mitigation is not so that noone ever gets the virus. The point is that we transmit slowly enough that our healthcare system does not get overwhelmed.

Right now it looks like the incidence of people getting the virus from deliveries is so low as to be undetectable when there is no actual human contact (signing for stuff, etc.).

If it makes you feel better, you can leave stuff in your garage for a couple of days.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:21 PM
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From the New England Journal of Medicine
I keep seeing these reports referenced, but without additional information to what it actually means. When they're detecting active virus on surfaces, is there any info on how much they're finding, and how that compares to how much virus it takes for a reasonable risk of infection? Without this info, I can't interpret these reports as anything but fear based click bate. (for comparison, 200,000 sperm count per ml sounds like a lot without reference but would be way too low to realistically get someone pregnant)
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:12 PM
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I keep seeing these reports referenced, but without additional information to what it actually means. When they're detecting active virus on surfaces, is there any info on how much they're finding, and how that compares to how much virus it takes for a reasonable risk of infection? Without this info, I can't interpret these reports as anything but fear based click bate. (for comparison, 200,000 sperm count per ml sounds like a lot without reference but would be way too low to realistically get someone pregnant)
I quoted some of this information and provided the article DOI.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:44 PM
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Though, one thing to consider is that to some extent the goal isn't so much to not get sick as it is to not get sick at the wrong moment.

If you're young, healthy, have no underlying conditions, have someone who can take care of you, a good supply of food, and can stay away from other people for a few weeks, then it might be a good time to get sick and gain immunity. (Obviously, there is the risk that you have an underlying condition that you didn't know about.)

But, if you figure that slowly, we will all become less good about being strict and more expected to go to the workplace, go to public events, etc. even though we shouldn't, then getting sick then will be worse because you will be contagious and in regular contact with others.

If you can get sick and not be a drag on the hospital system, right now, then it's sort of a social good. But, you need to be damn sure that you won't become a drag on the hospital system.
Ugh. No no no. This is so very wrong.

If we manage to beat this first wave of infection and get better testing and case tracking set up, there's a very good chance that when you get sick could be never. Do not take fewer precautions now because it's better to get sick now than later. It's better not to get sick.

Christ.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:24 PM
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Ugh. No no no. This is so very wrong.

If we manage to beat this first wave of infection and get better testing and case tracking set up, there's a very good chance that when you get sick could be never. Do not take fewer precautions now because it's better to get sick now than later. It's better not to get sick.

Christ.
Agreed.

Moreover, the longer we can outrun the bear, the more and better interim treatments will be developed. Even as a vaccine is researched, there may be drugs that can ameliorate symptoms enough that people who might have once required a ventilator, won't. The virus may mutate into something less lethal. Lots of things can happen that make getting sick avoidable or less dangerous.

Everyone should do their best to dodge this bullet.

Last edited by Aspenglow; 03-27-2020 at 06:24 PM.
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