I recently sent emails to my transfer customers with the subject “Doorstep Pickups For Digitizing Now Available”. I offered to come to their home, and safely pick up their transfer media from their doorstep. This was to eliminate the person-to-person contact we have all been warned against. One customer offered to come to my place and leave the package of her photos and videos outside. I told her I’d leave a plastic container with a lid on the steps. I didn’t leave it out by the curb because I didn’t want any dogs lifting their legs. So I left it on the steps. We had previously agreed to talk on the phone after I saw her media to be transferred. I could ask her questions and quote a price. After she left the media, I put on disposable vinyl gloves, opened the box and brought the bags of tapes and pictures inside.
The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO)do not know exactly how long the virus can live on an inanimate object, but if this virus is like other corona viruses, they say the virus could last a few hours or days. One variable is the temperature. It dissipates more slowly in cold temperatures. So I brought the bag inside and put in a high shelf in my office. I will leave it there for a couple days. Then I went back outside, still wearing the gloves, and used Lysol to sanitize the plastic box. The WHO says the virus lives longer on plastic and steel. And much less on cardboard or paper. Then I brought the sanitized plastic box inside and disposed of the gloves. You have to be careful and thoughtful when removing infected gloves. It is not as easy as you might think.
This whole thing may sound crazy to you, but I am in the high risk population and take that very seriously. I also want to stay in business and keep myself and my customers safe. Another reason for my extreme caution is that we have no idea who has the virus at this point. Many people with no symptoms undoubtedly have the virus and could infect others like me.
I will wear another pair of gloves when I do the job. As long as I stay far away from people and sanitize the media, wash hands frequently and follow the guidelines, I believe it is possible to be safe and still do business in the age of CoronaVirus.