As we enter into the new “normal” in our life we need to consider how careful we need to be. If you were like me, I left my mail and packages outside my door for 12 hours, sprayed them with disinfectant and opened them with gloves! The news media was making me crazy with fears of contracting Covid-19 from every surface I came in contact with. As we enter the fifth month of Covid-19’s profound impact on our daily lives let’s look at the data and see how crazy we really need to be.
Most of the research on Covid-19 persistence on surfaces was based on placing large quantities of viral particles on surfaces and then seeing how long they lived. Akin to having several people who are acutely infected spit on a surface at the same time. In a study in which the authors tried to mimic actual conditions in which a surface might be contaminated by a patient, no viable Covid-19 virus was detected on surfaces. A recent review from Rutgers University concluded: “the chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small, and only in instances where an infected person coughs or sneezes on the surface, and someone else touches that surface soon after the cough or sneeze (within 1–2 h).” It seems unlikely that a person with Covid-19 would cough or sneeze on a doorknob or your package and then have you touch it soon thereafter.
So, in analyzing the data out there it seems that the risk of contracting Covid 19 from surfaces is very small. It should be fine to open your mail and your amazon packages without fear. So it is OK to stop wiping your doorknob every hour!
We must find a way to begin to live our lives without fear and panic. Our economy, our city and most importantly our families need us to move out of isolation to grow strong together.
Jacqueline Jones, M.D. with over 25 years of experience as a physician and surgeon, has helped tens of thousands of patients achieve optimum health. As a board-certified ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist and head and neck surgeon, Dr. Jones serves patients at Park Avenue ENT, located on the Upper East Side, and in Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to her practice at Park Avenue ENT, Dr. Jones is a Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medical College. She frequently publishes research and lectures on her work at conferences around the country. Dr. Jones is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Jones has been the recipient of several distinguished awards, including Castle Connolly “Best Doctors in New York” for over 15 years, and “Best Doctors in the United States” for over 10 Years. In addition, Dr. Jones has received the Patient Satisfaction Award, the Top 100 Black Doctors in the United States Award, the Talk of the Town Award, Yelp Patient Satisfaction Award, the Teacher of the Year Award from Weill Cornel Medical Center, and has been named on the ‘Who’s Who in America’ list.
The mother of two grown children she resides in New York City. For more information, please consult: www.jacquelinejonesent.com
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