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Help Me Assemble Evidence That Handwritten Letters Are Safe Enough.

letters handwriting correspondence

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23 replies to this topic

#1 jonathan7007

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 23:24

All:

I like sending handwritten communications. Postcards, letters. I'd like to continue doing so.

 

Please contribute any links or resources you know that will support the safety of handwritten personal letters and cards. Here's the one I have (New York Times, March 24, 2020)
https://www.nytimes....esultPosition=1

 

I'd like to have good evidence for anyone that asks me why I'm still sending thank you cards, thoughts, etc. through snail mail. I hope that our shared joy in the handwritten world will uncover some good science or philosophy to support our continued sharing on paper.

 

I know that there is at least one thread here about the packages that come from China or senders in other "hot spots". My question seems a different concern so I started a new thread. If mods or users want to shift this elsewhere on the site, I'd be happy to do that.

 

Sincerely,
jonathan7007



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#2 IThinkIHaveAProblem

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 23:48

https://www.health.c...ad-through-mail

 

https://www.health.c...ronavirus-myths (linked to in the link above) See "Myth 5"


Edited by IThinkIHaveAProblem, 05 April 2020 - 23:51.

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

#3 Freddy

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 02:01

All:

I like sending handwritten communications. Postcards, letters. I'd like to continue doing so.

 

 

I'd like to have good evidence for anyone that asks me why I'm still sending thank you cards, thoughts, etc. through snail mail. I hope that our shared joy in the handwritten world will uncover some good science or philosophy to support our continued sharing on paper.

 

I know that there is at least one thread here about the packages that come from China or senders in other "hot spots". My question seems a different concern so I started a new thread. If mods or users want to shift this elsewhere on the site, I'd be happy to do that.

 

Sincerely,
jonathan7007

jonathan7007...I'm still sending hand written correspondence.....I need no freakin' evidence/opinion in order to do so....And nobody is asking me..Why should anyone ask?

 

 Do you want scientific evidence or Bull Stuff such as folks personal opinion..philosophy re evidence....Why?

 

Still your friend and mine..

 

  Fred..

Stay safe  Stay healthy........


Edited by Freddy, 06 April 2020 - 02:03.


#4 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 03:12

I'm still sending and receiving handwritten letters through the mail. Most of my pen pals are far enough away it is going to take 3 to 5 days to arrive. A few more, some less.

Brad
 
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#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 20:47

This isn't the most updated info (being from about about 2-1/2 weeks ago) but I'd say that Johns Hopkins University would be a pretty reputable source:

https://hub.jhu.edu/...ve-on-surfaces/

Does that help?  (I'm guessing that the survival time of the virus on paper would be similar to that of on cardboard, which was. according to the article, 24 hours).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#6 FLZapped

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 11:09

I always wash my hands before writing and use a little sponge to moisten the envelope seal. No problemo.



#7 flyingfox

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 23:56

This isn't the most updated info (being from about about 2-1/2 weeks ago) but I'd say that Johns Hopkins University would be a pretty reputable source:
https://hub.jhu.edu/...ve-on-surfaces/
Does that help?  (I'm guessing that the survival time of the virus on paper would be similar to that of on cardboard, which was. according to the article, 24 hours).
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


Interesting, that the virus survives on paper for 24 hours, and 72 hours on plastic.

I was thinking of doing in-home quarantine of incoming mail, in case the mail carrier is COVID-19 positive. My method would have been simple- get a few boxes, and put incoming mail in box one. On day 2, put the mail in box 2. On the following day, mail goes on box 3. On the day 4, since it’s been 72 hours since the mail from day 1 went into the box 1, I can declare them clean, disinfect the box, and start over. But- if the virus stays “alive” on paper only for 24 hours (not that virus is “alive” ever, but...) I can do this with just two cardboard boxes.... Maybe I’ll do it for real, just in case.

Incidentally- I NEVER lick an envelope seal. That’s what glue sticks are there for. Long time ago, I’ve read a story about someone licked an envelope, got a paper cut on his tongue, a cockroach egg got inside the cut, hatched inside the tongue, ewwww.... Just an urban legend, a fake news, but traumatic enough.

#8 txomsy

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 13:23

Sorry, I couldn't resist...

 

Does it mean that if I send the letter printed instead of hand written it is safe then?

 

:D



#9 Mac in Alberta

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 22:00

If you really can't resist, "printed" means output from something like an inkjet or laser printer attached to your computer, or the output of Mr. Gutenberg's invention from 1458.

Material written by hand in unconnected letters with a pen or pencil is "lettered." Just ask my junior high shop teachers a couple of generations ago when we were on the section on drafting.  Seconded by social studies teachers on drawing maps. (Because what you learned in elementary school was no longer good enough.)

Sorry, that sounded grumpy instead of humorously nitpicking.


Edited by Mac in Alberta, 21 April 2020 - 22:06.

Sometimes a technology reaches perfection and further development is just tinkering. The fountain pen is a good example of this.

#10 Mercian

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 23:23

Interesting, that the virus survives on paper for 24 hours, and 72 hours on plastic.

I was thinking of doing in-home quarantine of incoming mail, in case the mail carrier is COVID-19 positive. My method would have been simple- get a few boxes, and put incoming mail in box one. On day 2, put the mail in box 2. On the following day, mail goes on box 3. On the day 4, since it’s been 72 hours since the mail from day 1 went into the box 1, I can declare them clean, disinfect the box, and start over. But- if the virus stays “alive” on paper only for 24 hours (not that virus is “alive” ever, but...) I can do this with just two cardboard boxes.... Maybe I’ll do it for real, just in case.

If I were you I would put all your mail in to a box on the day that it arrives, and after that shuffle only your four or five boxes - or don’t even touch them, but use something like a Poker dealer chip to mark which box is on its last day of quarantine, and move that dealer chip along by one-box each day.

I wouldn’t handle the actual mail again at all until after its quarantine period of four/five days. Once you have taken the ‘safe’ mail out of its box, that day’s mail goes in to it & it rests there for another five days.
 

Ok, I may be being unnecessarily-paranoid, but this method also does not necessitate as much washing of one’s hands.
I have eczema, so the thought of not needing to wash my hands as much pleases me.

I’m also a miser, so the thought of not needing to use up as much soap also pleases me  ;)


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mini-postcard-exc.png
 


#11 praxim

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 23:38

With most things being electronic, I wold have a lot of empty boxes.


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#12 ScarletWoodland

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 23:40

We have a large piece of pvc table cloth laid out in the spare room and anything that comes through the mail gets put there for quarantine. If it can't be sterilised with rubbing alcohol or bleach (or I'm just too lazy to bother) then it's staying there for 4 days minimum. Even if the person sending hasn't touched the contents in days, multiple delivery workers will have fondled it in the last day.

Hand written mail is perfectly safe... after a few days rest.

Edited by ScarletWoodland, 21 April 2020 - 23:41.


#13 Olya

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 00:15

Current research in Germany is showing that the virus does not survive on any surface, at least not for long. They went into the homes of infected people and swiped all surfaces and literally hoovered up the air in their homes for 30 minutes and no live viruses could be detected.

So far the conclusion is that the virus spreads solely via droplets in the air (coughing and sneezing, talking possibly too).

 

That study which found the virus to survive for X hours on various surfaces is heavily flawed and cannot be accepted as scientifically sound. They sprinkled the virus via eye dropper onto these surfaces, undiluted and then looked how long it survived. The amount of liquid they eye droppered exceeds by far how much a whole group of covid infected could cough, sneeze and talk onto any surface realistically within even an hour. They did not calculate the concentration down into actual feasable numbers, either, so the whole study can only be binned and should've never seen the light of day. This is true for many studies across all subjects...

All it did is make people paranoid.

 

Disregard that study saying the virus survives on plastic for 72 hours, on paper for X hours or what have you.

 

Your post will not be affected. You can send letters, the only way a recipient could possibly contract the virus would be if the postman sneezed onto the envelope and handed it straight to the recipient. How likely is that to happen?

 

In my household no one's put any post into quarantine: not packages, not letters, not catalogues, not papers, not leaflets, nothing. Everything is opened upon receipt. So far, so good, no infections.


Edited by Olya, 22 April 2020 - 00:22.


#14 praxim

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 00:39

Current research in Germany...

I am interested. Do you have a direct reference please, Olya?

 

eta: I have since found news reports of research being undertaken and experts' assessments, but nothing published yet?


Edited by praxim, 22 April 2020 - 00:48.

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#15 Olya

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 01:07

I am interested. Do you have a direct reference please, Olya?

 

eta: I have since found news reports of research being undertaken and experts' assessments, but nothing published yet?

Not sure how much is published, I've watched many interviews and read articles, not just in English, but other languages as well...

But it's the team around Prof Dr Hendrik Streeck (Uni of Bonn and Uni of Duisburg-Essen), he and his team went to (as some papers like to call it) "Germany's Wuhan" Heinsberg, they basically all moved there and are 24/7 with infected people and in their homes, in full hazmat suits. Prof Christian Drosten has also been doing a lot and Prof Alexander Kekulé, but most of the info I mentioned above I have from interviews and articles with Prof Dr Streeck and his still on-going research, he also rubbished the study on how long the virus allegedly survives (with his own work now showing it doesn't really survive).

 

He's been on a programme a few weeks ago and said even then that he goes grocery shopping normally, that the possibility of infection via goods is highly unlikely and that it is most important to keep distance and wash hands, he was at the time already in people's homes in Heinsberg and had a good number of swabs and hoovered in air with first results showing the virus doesn't survive or spread via surfaces, none could be detected on surfaces or in the air.

Frankly it's helped me personally to not be too paranoid and not fear grocery shopping, the mail and all that (though I wash my hands much longer now, take care not to touch my face..), we're all more careful, a touch paranoid, sure, but remain sane.

 

The virus has been found in loos and in stool(!), but all these swabs showed that the virus found in those places are dead, so again you can't catch anything.

 

I know there are stories where people assume they caught it via a shared pen or a handed over shopping bag, but do they really know? Are they sure? Couldn't it have been via something else? (eg talking). A shared pen is somewhat imagineable, a meeting, many sign something, hand the pen from one to the other, sweaty hands (I remember one colleague using my pen and I only knew they used my pen because when I came back to my desk it was sweaty... still grosses me out a bit!), yadda yadda, but this is literally the only scenario where I can see how one could catch the virus this way, everything else defies logic and current (known to me) research... (say sweaty hands, ie wet warm hands serving for a short time as incubator, many touching one pen within seconds, transfer of the virus and subsequent infection seems to me possible).

Anyway, I'm waffling now... Hope that helps! (incl my unnecessary babble!)


Edited by Olya, 22 April 2020 - 01:11.


#16 sombrueil

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 02:00

I'm still writing letters. 

To err on the side of caution I leave my mail on a shelf for a day. Unless it's really special then I cheat ....



#17 praxim

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 02:51

Anyway, I'm waffling now... Hope that helps! (incl my unnecessary babble!)

Yes, it does thanks :D

 

The information I found was English renditions of or reports on Dr Streeck's work. If it is confirmed, then it tends to increase the importance of masks, lessen that of gloves.

 

I had already discounted the previous study on the basis of infectivity vs survival, to the extent that I regarded 24 hours for paper or paper-like products an upper limit rather than something to which I needed to add a reserve. We have been leaving the odd bit of mail until the next day but plastic mail containers we cut open, fold back and recycle then the contents are just fine. Reality is, we never wipe down our packaged food purchases.

 

Tracking our own actions, it seems to me that if the virus were on surfaces and I had encountered it, then my wallet would be a carrier despite trying to switch between gloved and not-gloved to handle things.

 

Incidentally, the rate of influenza cases in this country this Autumn was about the same as 2019 in January and February, half as many in March (when physical distancing started) and about 0.5% as many so far in April. A nice illustration.

 

edit: correction to the last figure


Edited by praxim, 22 April 2020 - 02:54.

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#18 txomsy

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 07:22

Why does nobody factorize in the mail transit time?

 

Methinks one should consider that, since the mail is posted until it is delivered there is usually at least one day, often two or more.



#19 praxim

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 09:38

For example, I did when I mentioned opening and discarding wrapping from a package. The inner package would be safe, as you suggest. However, the outer packaging was last handled just before you received it, if you are at home. That is why Hendrik Streeck's research is interesting.


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#20 Olya

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 20:00

Imo gloves are useless, as the virus spreads via droplets entering the mucous membranes (ie mouth, nose, eyes).

Keeping your distance, washing your hands (scrubbing + long enough) regularly and not touching your face are more than enough in terms of measures. For risk patients masks are additionally useful, though masks are becoming increasingly mandatory in Europe, which I'm fine with and think is a rather good move.

 

Gloves aren't really doing anything. At the beginning it was understandable that people wore gloves (I never did, as no experts really ever recommended them), but now with increasing knowledge it's unnecessary.

 

Yes, it does thanks :D

 

I'm glad!







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