Social distancing and working from home (for those fortunate enough to be in industries where that’s even possible) are the new normal — and apparently, so is online shopping. Some have turned to shopping as a welcome distraction from these tumultuous times, or as a means of supporting small businesses that are already hurting. Other shoppers are sending packages to their loved ones, and some people are simply bored. But if you’re adding to your digital cart and, more importantly, clicking “buy,” you may have worried about whether the virus can spread through the mail, as well as how the people producing and packaging orders, as well as the mail carriers delivering them, are staying safe and healthy.
Is it Safe to Order Online During COVID-19?
As it becomes even more clear just how infectious COVID-19 is, some shoppers have raised questions about the safety of receiving their online orders. Experts are finding that the virus can live on surfaces from three hours to up to three days, depending on the material. (Note that conclusive findings are difficult to come by in these early days of the virus, and as experts continue their study of it, these numbers may change.)
That said, it’s unlikely that COVID-19 would survive on your purchased items from the time they were packed to the time you received your package (especially with the slowdown in the delivery system). And shipping conditions make a tough environment for COVID-19 as well, so it’s not likely you’ll be exposed via the package itself, either.
According to the CDC, “There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.” The CDC’s statement refers to packages that have been in shipment for at least several days and did not come into contact with any sources of contamination after packaging.
The World Health Organization addresses the concern as well, by saying that it is safe to receive packages from locations with reported COVID-19 cases. From their website: “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”
Should I wash my purchases when I get them?
After carefully opening a boxed shipment of new threads, how concerned should we be about the potential of the coronavirus spreading via fabric? Research is still limited, and there currently isn’t much data to suggest how long this virus can live on fabric. So you might consider taking extra precautions before trying on that amazing new dress or pair of jeans. Because this is a novel virus and the world is still finding its footing when it comes to transmission, you can wash any new clothes with detergent if it will make you feel safer.
And there’s no reason to be more cautious (or even avoid) shipments of goods produced in or processed through countries with more confirmed cases than the U.S., including China, Italy, or Spain.
How is Thygesen coping?
Thygesen has taken steps to protect both their employees and customers. For those working in manufacturing and processing facilities, these measures include required social distancing, staggered breaks and shifts, more frequent cleaning, and making hand sanitizers and masks available to their employees.
1. Cases of suspected signs of virus infection are isolated at home for 24 days under the Health Ministry’s recommendations.
2. Using disinfectant and antibacterial spray for the office and the whole working area.
3. Placing posters in public areas such as information boards, cafeterias, and corridors to widely disseminate information related to Covid-19 as follows:
– Recommendations of the Ministry of Health and WHO to prevent Covid-19
– Symptoms of nCoV infection
– Instructions on proper hand washing procedure
– Instructions on how to wear a medical mask properly
– 10 methods to protect yourselves from Coronavirus
4. Deploying hygiene and sterilization process for every employee before going to work in all 3 locations of TTV, TKV, TSV as follows:
Step 1: Measure body temperature
Step 2: Remove the mask that they are using
Step 3: Clean hands with alcohol rub sanitizers
Step 4: Wear new masks provided by the company
Step 5: Attend to work
5. Having meals from individual trays instead of eating from shared plates: each employee has a separate food tray and a separate drink cup.
6. Providing medical masks and rubbing alcohol to customers, suppliers, partners coming to work at Hanoi office.