Seeking your advice on mail disinfection

This is my first time creating a topic of this type, so maybe my divisions are wrong, and the tone may be blunt, hope you understand

Omicron was detected in international mail in China.While I know the point of spreading the word by mail sounds unscientific, I was wondering what you think about sanitizing your mail yourself.

If you’re really concerned about it you can always buy an ultraviolet sanitizer or leave it outside in the sunlight.

The virus needs a person as a host and doesn’t live long outside the host. Just leave your mail in a bag overnight and your chance of infection is pretty much gone. On the other hand, wear a mask when you talk to your mail carrier!


I don’t think mail disinfection is needed. (I find this story of transmission through mail highly unlikely.) Tests and research I have seen showed it is nearly impossible to transmit that way. If you are worried then let the mail isolate for three or so days and the virus should not survive hours on surfaces (certainly not days). It cannot survive on surfaces for long. It needs a host to live.


I’ve watched an interview with a Brazilian scientist who said something very similar to what @Susaninutah explained here. He said 15 min of direct exposure to sunlight should be enough to inactivate most of the virus on surfaces.

You can find more about it here:


I can understand your concern, but I have to tell you that story was dismissed by most scientists in North America & Europe.

Fomite transmission (transmission from surfaces, including packages/letters) is rare.

And as others have said, leaving your mail to sit for a few days is a good solution if you’re concerned as well as washing your hands after handling it.

And if this changed at some point in the future & was proven to be widespread, then I’m sure the mail delivery would be halted.


Don’t worry about it, my friend. China’s claim that Omicron case came from Canadian mail dismissed as ‘ludicrous’ - The Globe and Mail


However all the international mails should have been sanitized before entering China at the customs. Almost all my friends got a notice of “Disinfection completed” when they got their postcards or envelopes. And it’s interesting that if it’s true that people will get infected from the international mails, why haven’t we heard any news about infection of the customs officers or courier of post office?:joy:


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My mailbox is always hot to the touch, so I hope this helps kill the virus.


I recall the Jeffrey VanWingen video that circulated at the start of the pandemic (March 2020) where he discusses sanitizing during and after grocery shopping.
On re-viewing it, I note at the 6:10 point he states that the coronavirus can live on a cardboard surface for 24 hours.
The science around the virus has evolved since the outset of the pandemic, and I suspect few go to the lengths recommended in the video.
As others have noted above: the virus needs a host. It cannot survive forever on surfaces. If it did, we’ve got bigger problems than postal transmission. Groceries, books, and so much more would be our viral enemies.
There are sanitizing protocols one can implement, as noted above, if one is concerned about incoming mail.
China has been sanitizing incoming mail for some time now. I wonder what other postal services are doing, and whether there is science to support the efficacy of the procedure?


At the beginning of the pandemic, we were very cautious of mail and packages, typically leaving them untouched in a corner of our home for 3-5 days unless perishable or urgent. If they were urgent or perishable, we would open the mail/package and dump the contents out, throw away the wrappings, and then wash our hands before touching the contents.

As it is right now, our mail carrier brings our mail between 1PM and 4PM each day. We typically pick-up the mail between 6-8PM, and then let it sit, untouched, until 8-10AM the next day. Doing so results in a bit of a delay in registering our postcards, but not much (only 12-or-so hours)…

We haven’t gotten COVID since the start of the pandemic, so hopefully what we’re doing is OK. I’m not entirely certain the virus can live on paper/cardboard too long, but I honestly don’t have any stats/facts to back-up my theory.

I’m sorry I’m unable to provide a solid solution for you, but perhaps some combination of what we do may help you develop your routine? Best wishes!


I was leaving mail in a bag for couple hours upon receival (in the beginning of 2020, when there were no scientific evidence of anything yet), but now I don’t do that.

As far as I remember this was dismissed later: some fragments of the virus can stay on the surfaces, but not a whole alive virus (here is link from Nature:

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I completely agree with @LC-Canada. This is just another example of misinformation. Back in 2020, people were washing fruits, vegetables, etc. Re: mail, with the typical long delays in delivery, the virus doesn’t stand much chance IMHO.

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After some time the pandemic started, I got a card from Wuhan, China, the city they say the virus started spreading… And I didn’t get the virus from the card :blush: I have never been concerned about getting it from mail or even groceries.