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You're ordering supplies from WHERE? COVID strikes Amazon.

edited March 26 in Off-Topic
Here is a current excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle. It is just a brief entry on their continuing coverage page, and references attribution to the Washington Post. The information below is exactly as shown by the Chronicle, including emphasis.
8:20 a.m. Amazon workers test positive at nine warehouses: Workers at at least nine of Amazon’s U.S. warehouses, including one in Moreno Valley (Riverside County), have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Amazon and the Washington Post. Workers have complained that Amazon is not doing enough to protect them from the virus, saying they are too busy to wash their hands regularly and are required to attend shoulder-to-shoulder standup meetings.

Personal add: We have been receiving shipments from Amazon. When they arrive, we put on rubber gloves, open and discard the outer box, then disinfect the contents if they are not harmed by a liquid disinfectant. Contents that cannot be disinfected are isolated for at least 72 hours before storage.

In a secondary sink in the basement we keep a plastic tub with a strong disinfectant solution to use for this purpose. Rubber gloves of the type used for dishwashing are convenient for this sort of thing, and they are easily disinfected by immersion in the disinfectant tub.

For mail delivery, we have set aside three small boxes. Each day's mail is left in one box. After 72 hours the mail is removed from the oldest box, and the cycle begins again.

For the daily newspapers, we heat them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 170° (the lowest setting for this particular over). The virus dies at temps above 85°F. This approach should work well for mail, also.


  • edited March 25
    Yes, but my impression is that coronavirus can't survive on inorganic matter for very long--24 to 72 hours. By the time you receive your items it would probably be dead. Then again, maybe this is a case for not subscribing for Amazon Prime and just getting regular delivery:
    Probably the greater risk is from your mail carrier and the cardboard box he just touched before you received the item.
  • It took some digging, but I finally located the Washington Post article:
    SEATTLE — The U.S. coronavirus outbreak has spread to at least ten Amazon warehouses, infecting workers racing to deliver massive volumes of packages for consumers leery of leaving their homes to shop.

    In the past few days, workers tested positive for covid-19 at Amazon warehouses and shipping facilities across the country, from New York to California and Michigan to Texas. In some cases, Amazon shut down facilities for cleaning, and some co-workers who were in close contact with their infected colleagues have been quarantined.

    But some workers complain Amazon hasn’t provided them with enough information about the spread of virus in their facilities.

    Just last week, warehouse workers sounded alarms that the company is not doing enough to protect them from the virus. That came after workers at Amazon warehouses in Spain and Italy tested positive for the virus. Since then, more than 1,500 workers from around the world have signed a petition that calls on the company to take additional steps to ensure safety in the workplace.

    Some workers complained that Amazon pushes them to meet the per-hour rate at which it wants orders fulfilled, a practice that they worry discourages safe sanitary practices such as washing hands after a cough or sneeze. Others have complained about “stand-up” meetings, where workers stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the start of each shift.

    “We are supporting the individuals, following guidelines from local officials, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of all the employees at our sites,” Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski said in an emailed statement.

    The company has recently adopted new policies for its warehouses including more regularly cleaning door handles, stairway handrails, touch screens and more, Levandowski said. It’s nixed stand-up meetings, staggered start and break times to aid social distancing and suspended screening workers as they leave to improve the flow of workers, she said.

    Amazon, though, is struggling to get workers all the protection it wants them to have. The company placed orders for “millions of face masks” to give to employees and contractors who cannot work from home, Bezos wrote in a letter to employees Saturday. Because of the global shortage of those masks, though, very few of those orders have been filled, he wrote.

    And while Amazon allows warehouse staff to take time off if they’re concerned, Bezos also expects the company’s warehouses to keep operating, saying in the letter that much of “the essential work we do” requires employees to clock in at the company’s warehouses, in its delivery vehicles and more.

    The new outbreaks at Amazon’s U.S. facilities come days after the online retail giant announced plans to hire 100,000 new workers to help cope with the flood of orders that have clogged its system. That unexpected surge has rendered Amazon unable to stock and ship household staples to many customers who had come to rely on the company’s convenience.

    Politicians are increasing pressure on the company to do more. On Wednesday, a group of attorneys general from 14 states and the District of Columbia called the paid sick leave policies at Amazon and Amazon-owned Whole Foods “inadequate to protect the public health during the developing COVID-19 crisis." The attorneys general, who include Bob Ferguson from Amazon’s home state of Washington, expressed concern that the leave policy might encourage workers who have the virus to show up for work and spread it to others.

    “This would seriously undercut efforts to promote ‘social distancing’ in order to ‘flatten the curve’ of infections and to avoid overloading our already strained health care system,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Bezos and Whole Foods chief executive John Mackey.

    The senators noted that Amazon could also put “the entire country at risk” if warehouse conditions aren’t sanitary, because the coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. They asked Bezos to respond to a series of questions by Thursday.

    Note: It may not seem like it, but the information above is a severely abridged version of the original article.

  • Bezos makes me sick. I don't buy anything from Amazon.
  • Thank you. Read about Amazon's working environment in the past. Now it confirms the same old practice persists even through this contagious condition. Few thing we buy from Amazon today are carefully handled with latex gloves and items inside are wiped down with rubbing alcohol.

    Before Amazon acquired Whole Foods (whole food, whole paycheck, we avoid them as much as possible. We prefer to buy from our local farmer market instead. The over-packaging and waste created from it is something we try to minimize all these years. In our college town we use our food cooperate where many food are available in bulk so we bring our clean containers.
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