By Derrick Lane
In this day and age, everyone is reliant on delivery drivers. From everything we order on Amazon to every day food and groceries–it’s all being delivered by someone. Especially now, during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, many people are not going out, but relying on a delivery service to bring them the items they need.
So many are have started to ask the question, can the coronavirus live on the packages that are being delivered? What if my delivery driver tests positive for the virus and he delivered my packages? When I touch that package, does that mean I may get it too? A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday found that coronavirus could be detected up to three hours after aerosolization in the air, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. “This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain,” said James Lloyd-Smith, a co-author of the study and a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “If you’re touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands.” The study attempted to mimic the virus being deposited onto everyday surfaces in a household or hospital setti virus remained infectious on these surfaces. So what’s the answer?
The answer seems to be no. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the virus is spread through respiratory droplets and there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 with imported goods. ng by an infected person through coughing or touching objects, for example. The scientists then investigated how long the “In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” the CDC said on its website.
So now what?
Since we are learning in real time about this virus, there are constant updates. So while the CDC may say something one minute, we might learn something new about the virus the next. So some experts say, err on the side of caution.
How do you do that? It’s a simple 3 step process. Wait – If you can wait for your times, then wait 12 to 24 hours before bringing in your package indoors. This helps with the whole notion of how long the virus can live on the surface of the box.
Wipe down all your products – It doesn’t take long to wipe down your box of goodies with sanitary cloth that kills germs before you open them. This further will kill any germs still lingering around
Check the packaging – Be sure that all of the indoor packaging is done Amazon’s recent acquiring of online pharmacy PillPack, has been widely seen as a move that will disrupt the pharmacy business and could have a positive impact on patient engagement access to affordable prescriptions.
PillPack targets a specific sector of patients who have to take several different medications at any time. It packages pills in individual packets that help people remember when to take their drugs every day, an issue faced by many people taking, for example, drugs for diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressures and cancer.
Buying PillPack is not Amazon’s first move into healthcare. It already sells over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and antihistamines here in America, in addition to vitamins, supplements, and other healthrelated products. It even launched its own line of offbrand medicines called Basic Care in mid-2017 which sells medical supplies such as face masks and swabs and plans to expand into supplying hospitals and clinics with them as well.
Those who are watching the move closely anticipate that Amazon will eventually drive drug prices down due to its almost monopoly-like control over the delivered goods industry.
According to results from the 2018 Walker Sands Future of Retail report, 29% of consumers say they’re excited about the convenient experience Amazon provides, and that they’re already used to using it to make purchases.
Some 61% of respondents say they want to order prescriptions from Amazon because of its ability to ship quickly, and 54% said they would do so because of their existing trust in it and ensuring that their medicine was safe, accurate, cost-effective and easy to ingest.
They’d also want to know that their questions about the medicine were easily answered as they would be if they picked them up in person from a pharmacy technician at a drugstore for instance. For patients with chronic conditions, as many as 50% don’t take their prescribed medications because of high costs, she says, and as many as 20% to 30% of prescriptions are never filled. With Amazon and PillPack, the pesky action traveling to and waiting in line at the pharmacy will be eliminated and hopefully help individuals get the medicine they desperately need and overcome past barriers.
There’s also the prospect of threading through Amazon’s same-day distribution into pharmaceutical deliveries. There could also be the utilization of telemedicine.
However, much of this speculation about the future will take quite some time to implement, we’re sure.
Amazon’s acquisition could have other longterm implications for traditional care providers, by adding another factor that can provide care management capabilities—offering a technological link that can ensure patients get the right treatment at the right time from the comfort of their own familiar environment i.e. their homes.
There’s also the prospect of threading through Amazon’s same-day distribution into pharmaceutical deliveries.
But, as exciting as these possibilities may sound, Amazon is in the early of the deal and will be figuring out logistics as the time passes. We’ll keep an eye on this exciting venture.