HEALTH Best way to process mail at home

Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
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Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I posted this on another thread but will post it here also. I am not a health care provider and I'm not giving medical advise. The Thanatologist mentioned in the post passed a few years ago.

Transferring in and out of a home during a pandemic with high CFR

Remember I'm not an expert or a medical provider. I am not giving medical advice. I'm not going over appropriate PPE's. Find them on the CDC's website.

I had this discussion with a woman who was a Thanatologist (Study of death and dying) back in the day of the H5N1 Bird Flu scare. This is what I remember of her conversation and as many here know my memory isn't the best. So healthcare providers or more observant please chime in on what I misstated, misremembered, forgotten or missed. -OGM

First think of three Zones like a traffic light:
Red - Hot treat like possible contagion present. This can be a person coming in from outside the home or something from outside the home that is being brought into the home. It can also refer to a quarantine/sick room. Contagion doesn't stop because a person walks thru a door.
Yellow - in between stage not as safe as possible but getting there. These are the protocols to help mitigate bringing the disease into the home. THis can also refer to the area in or outside the home where processing takes place. Yellow might also be the fridge because some flu virus stay viable longer in cold humid places and on certain types of surfaces. If yellow then I'm probably in PPE's
Green - Cold as safe as time, resources, abilities and knowledge allow. Safe during a pandemic is a relative term. Nowhere is truly safe. Basically this is inside the home other that the Yellow area or sick room.

Yellow - mail
Before bringing mail into the home: discard outside packaging and envelopes. Put letters in flat plastic resealable clear plastic bag with pertinent information visible. Reseal bags. Sanitize gloved hands before sanitizing the outside of the bags and passing them inside. Or just take a picture with phone and discard, much easier but may not be advisable for contracts and legal papers etc. I'm going to have to find out how to sanitize a phone/laptop/TV controls etc.

Green - Mail
Address whatever issues the mail brings leaving the mail in the sealed bags. If the document is to be kept leave it in the bag longer than the incubation period of the disease and longer than the disease can survive on the material. How long is that? Not sure at this time.

Yellow - Groceries
With fresh rinse in bleach solution - Clorox or the USDA may have the specs for the strength of the solution. Personally I want all veggies cooked before eating until after the threat passes, unless I'm using safe seed to sprout in the home. Cans: remove labels and mark date and contents on can with Sharpie. Rince can in bleach solution. Meat - discard packaging and put into container to be cooked in and cover, or put into sanitized containers for fridge storage. Always handle raw meat with gloves. Paper packaging - flour, rice beans etc. pour contents into sterile container, mark contents and date. Discard packaging.

Red - People
My old plan was to have anyone from outside the home or commuting to work quarantine in our RV. That is no longer an option. -OGM

Back to the conversation: have some place at or near the exterior door to store external clothing that can't easily be sanitized on a regular basis (foot ware, winter: coats, hats and mittens etc,). It should have a door or plastic cover to seal it off from the rest of the home or use a sealable plastic storage tub. Place regular clothing in a plastic bag/container. Sanitize gloves and exterior of bag.

Regular clothes in plastic bag go directly into wash. Person takes shower and into quarantine room. Common surfaces get sanitised.

Likewise protective protocol steps should be used passing things like meals and waste in and out of sick/quarantine rooms.

Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I found this post from Blizzard interesting.

Let me be really blunt here. PAY ATTENTION!
I'll put this in terms of Trump's earlier tweet.

"We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus." YES WE ARE - both officially (full of PC lies) and unofficially (in direct contact with researchers and family members of researcher that are in this country.)

"Very few cases REPORTED in the USA, but strongly on watch." Reported by the political CDC. They are SCUM - they will do anything not to create a panic. I know they lie specifically due to the "boots on ground" work my boss has done on ebola and SARS. "Officially" there are few confirmed nCoV cases publicized in the US. There are a whole bunch of people being investigated. There are even MORE secondary contacts. Case in point, in my own town we have an individual who came in on the same flight as the first positive in Washington state. NO ONE has officially contacted him or his family. (We are feeding him facts and recommendations at a distance.)

"We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary." We have University links to several research facilities in China and directly with personnel there. The Fake News reports and the clinical reports we've received so far are dramatically different. There is a lot of high-quality information coming in directly to and from researchers. Chinese politics will "save face". Researchers are saving lives and getting the technical information out.

"Our experts are extraordinary!" Absolutely! My boss has a 200+ IQ (tested). He has US patents out the ying-yang. He has spoken directly with the President in the past. His team is just as extraordinary. I am responsible for the medical health of that team (Don't ask how this dumbass Emergency Physician got linked into this group - I just consider it a privilege to know these people that make a profound difference in the world EVERY DAY.)


1. They have traced the virus back to "Patient 0" (I can't find anymore unclassified information about him.) .

2. The original virus contains gene sequences from a "Civit" (cat like), "Krate Snake" and "Horseshoe Bat". There is a great argument about who ate/got infected by whom first. The exotic meat of all three were sold at the Meat Market at WuHan. The possibility of a weaponized/engineered virus has NOT been ruled out.

3. There is a HIGH suspicion this can be transmitted to/from snakes, domestic cats and bats though that is unproven at this time.

4. The virus has evolved TOWARD better human to human transmission and IS continuing to do so.

5. The PUBLIC numbers from China are EXTREMELY LOW. (Direct information to researchers in the US from family of researchers that are in the field themselves. You can dispute all the videos and statements coming out of China, but that fact remains they are reacting much more aggressively in response to this than the seasonal flu that kills thousands times the current "official" nC0V numbers.)

6. The current OFFICIAL rate of sustained infection (R0) is 1.4 to 2.6. Anything over 1 is considered to be self-sustaining. (I suspect that number is much higher due to undocumented infections, whether hidden, self-quarantined, mis-diagnosed or unable to see a documenting health professional. )

7. Current (well documented) incubation is 1-14 days.

8. Infected can shed virus 2-5 days BEFORE showing symptoms of their infection.

9. Surface survival of the virus is approximately 15 minutes (Exposed to sun and chemicals) and up to 7+ days when not exposed to high moisture and UV radiation. (WuHan is a big manufacturing area for the world - Budweiser Beer has been produced there since the mid-90's. Think of all the exports. Think of the contact spread of the virus.)

10. You have to get a certain number of viri to produce an infection. That number is unknown. Avoid areas where people/germs can concentrate (planes, trains, autos, meeting rooms, etc.)


- Stay home.
- Don't allow visitors.
- Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands - for 20 seconds at least, and with soap (Don't depend on hand sanitizers - some are not effective and people don't always use them properly).
- Wash your hands before putting anything in your mouth.
- Nothing in mucus membranes (Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, vagina, anus). Sorry Ladies and Gentleman, you are going to have to put away your toys for the duration.
- Don't touch your face.
- Avoid crowds, gatherings, clinics and ESPECIALLY hospitals.
- If you have to go out as this develops, mask, gloves, whole body clothing - then launder/shower when home.
- Prep for sheltering-in-place for a minimum of 2 weeks.
- Get it done!


Yes, I have to work.

For simple masks we only use N-100s. Anything less is insufficient (will leak during normal activities and are uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time - read you will touch the outer surface repeatedly to adjust it - BAD) and in the case of surgical masks - those ear loop pieces of cloth/paper, can enhance the spread of the infection when they get wet from regular respirations (20 minutes). BTDT

We use clear wrap around protective lenses generally and goggles for bad stuff. The goggles work well as I can keep my glasses on.

The house has several HEPA air filters, both floor units and high-grade AC filters in the forced air unit (pain in the butt to replace every 3 months).

We wipe everything with Clorox Clean-ups (switches, door handles, railings, anything your hand touches). We wash is as high as temperature as permissible - bodies, clothing, dishes, etc.

We are now experimenting with UV-C hand wands for non-wipe-able items.


I come in the basement door and drop my clothing in the laundry or directly into the washer. Doctor bag stays in the basement. (We are experimenting with UV-C lighting for the laundry when we are not there). Shoes/Doctor bag get sprayed with Lysol or UV wanded. From there, I head directly to the shower and redress in clean clothing. The wife wipes everything I've touched down with Clorox Cleanups. Only then do I kiss the wife, play with the dogs, get something to eat, and check my e-mails. After that, its time to drag the wife off to bed for some fun. Since the AIDS epidemic way back when, we agreed to share any lethal bug I might contract in my job - personal choice.

This procedure of stripping and showering got my physician Grandfather through the Spanish Flu without infection as he saw patients in their homes daily. We actually read it in my Grandmother's diary and adopted the practice here.

I will provide more information as it becomes available. Please don't hit me with PMs or open questions. I don't have the time and get really snarky when I get exhausted.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Blizzard, MD, FACEP

Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Your question is a valid one. After the 1918 Great Influenza contagion was back tracked along a mail carrier's route. Source
The Great Influenza by John Barry.

FreeSpace there is no "safe" this side of the grave. We can do what we can to educate ourselves to dangers and what can be done to minimize them. I hope some of what's posted here is informative.
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Jackpine Savage

Veteran Member
In the Expedition Home book he gave two suggestions. Expose to sunlight and heat for 3-4 days, or put in a 220 degree oven for 10 minutes (beware of fire).


Veteran Member
Wear gloves. Pick up mail. Throw out mail. ;)

Seems I throw out about 95% of it without even opening. Leave it outside, bagged in a garbage can. Toss your gloves in after it. Anything you feel you must bring inside, open outside and wear clean gloves to remove from envelope.

Frankly, the mail is gonna be the least of our problems. If it gets bad, there won't BE any mail.

Truth be told, it's beginning to look more and more to me like it's gonna be darn near impossible to keep from catching this bug and dealing with it up close and personal. Most of us will be just fine. I WOULD like to hear if there truly is a second round hit...or if once infected, how long the immunity lasts. Questions that will no doubt be answered by the first few hundred thousand guinea pigs.


TB Fanatic
One more time. Wrap mail in a BLACK trash bag, leave in the hot sun for two hours and that will do it. Be sure you don't distribute the mail in such a way that some insulates the others.

fish hook

Veteran Member
One more time. Wrap mail in a BLACK trash bag, leave in the hot sun for two hours and that will do it. Be sure you don't distribute the mail in such a way that some insulates the others.
I would think that a clear bag would be better,the uv from the sun can't get through the black plastic.


Voice on the Prairie
Change over to as much online as you can. I live in a small town: our water bills are paper only, but there is discussion about making an online option.

I still have some elderly relatives who can't handle the Internet, and I don't want them online without supervision! We send each other cards and letters. I don't have a good alternative for that, yet.