If I have covid, can I accidentally pass it to someone through the mail?

(Why hello, FBI, I hope you’re enjoying my search history. I am attempting not to pass my covid to other people, actually.)

I live in Virginia. If I write a letter or card to a friend of mine who lives in Florida, what is the likelihood that I can accidentally pass covid to her? I was diagnosed on Monday, but the doctor is fairly sure that I’m relatively noncontagious. (My mother, on the other hand, probably has it now as well and she’s getting a little worse day by day).

The CDC says surface transmission risks are quite low, particularly on porous surfaces (such as paper).

If you’re particularly concerned, wear a mask and sanitize your hands first.

COVID is “inactivated” in about 3 hours on paper surfaces, and in about 7 days on plastic. Sticking with plain paper might be safer than a greeting card with a nonporous coating?

Although, most US Mail travel by air mail these days, so it gets there faster and more virus may still be alive. Also, every postal employee who handles your mail is exposed, so the FBI may well be interested in you over that.

For what it’s worth, China is now saying that mail from Canada is responsible for their first Omicron case, but lots of other people are saying that’s nonsense.

Since SARS-CoV-2 is inactivated within 3 hours or so on paper surfaces, it should be possible to drop mail in your mailbox (if you have one) early in the morning and put the flag up for the carrier to get it later in the day safely. Or if you’re feeling up to it, drop the envelope off in an outdoor collection box at the P.O., timed so that it will be collected and sorted well after virus viability is expected to be zero.