Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic over an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus known as COVID-19. As of 6th April 2020, 209 countries and territories are suffering from this outbreak, with 64,471 confirmed deaths globally (source: https://bit.ly/39OD1jh ).
In the month of January, the world was still awakening to the news of the novel coronavirus. By late February, the situation had started worsening. In the United States, community spread of COVID-19 cases started looking inevitable and soon many grocers, retail outlets and companies found a new culprit on their own for the spread of the new coronavirus: reusable bags made of jute, canvas, and cotton.
From New Hampshire to Illinois, several places have banned or prohibited the use of reusable bags to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Even in Bay Area Counties, health officials have forbidden grocery stores from allowing their customers to bring their own shopping bags. The thinking is that since reusable bags are handled in different environments by different people, it is likely that they can be a carrier of the virus.
But, is this claim supported by science?
Well, so far, no studies have been published showing that coronavirus is spread through reusable bags. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions provide no specific recommendations about coronavirus and reusable bags. So, bags offered by leading jute bags exporters are safe to use during this pandemic. All you need to do is simply ensure your bags are sanitized and maintain good hygiene.
Dr. Rodrigo Hasbun – professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas said, “It is fear-based. And because we’re not sure, everyone is taking precautions.” He further noted that if a COVID-19 infected person sneezes or coughs on something or touches it, the virus can spread – be it any product.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus can survive almost 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on both stainless steel as well as plastic surfaces. The viability of the coronavirus on reusable bags was not singled out for study.
In a recent article, Dr. Lisa LockerdMaragakis – an epidemiologist at John Hopkins University wrote, “So far the evidence suggests that the virus does not survive as well on soft surfaces (such as fabric) as it does on door handles and elevator buttons.” Jana Ferguson – Director at Massachusetts Bureau of Environmental Health said that the department hasn’t seen any scientific information specific to reusable bags and their ability to spread the virus.
The best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is assuming everything outside is potentially contaminated. So, you should act accordingly. Make sure you do not touch your face and sanitize your hands frequently when you’re outside. Once you are home, wash your hands properly.
Even though it’s best to stay home, take precautions through small actions if you need to step outside. No matter whether you’re going out for shopping essentials or takeaway food, make sure you choose eco-friendly bags offered by renowned jute bags exporters so that you can have the peace of mind that you’re using the highest quality bags which has no detrimental effects. A silver lining in taking adequate precautions is that it will lessen your chances of catching the harmful flu this season.
With no scientific studies suggesting the spread of coronavirus through jute bags or other reusable bags, it’s time you stop panicking and fearing. Keep your home clean, take adequate precautions and be calm.