Could reusing bags spread the virus?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I support the Shelter in Place order. I think it's vital that individually we do our utmost now to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, for the good of each of us and for the good of the community as a whole. We protect ourselves by protecting each other. And the earlier we act the better. Those cities that acted early in the 1918 Flu Pandemic suffered fewer deaths than those that waited and acted later.

The village website is down. That is terribly unfortunate at a time like this, and probably caused by the onslaught of people wanting to learn more about the Shelter in Place order. So I cannot reach out to the village to make this suggestion. So I reach out to you instead.

I think the village should consider temporarily suspending its fee for bags at stores in Oak Park, and in fact urge people not to use reusable bags at stores during the duration of the pandemic. One could study this issue, look for scientific evidence supporting this argument, but it seems logical to me that when we bring into a store a reusable bag, that bag in fact could be carrying the COVID-19 virus if we ourselves or someone in our household unknowingly has the virus. We place the bag in a cart. We place the bag on the checkout counter. The virus goes where the bag goes. Some people bring plastic bags into the store or reusable bags that contain plastic, and the COVID-19 virus has been shown to survive on plastic for three days or more.

I am not against the village fee on bags normally, but I think now during this crisis, it would be advisable to suspend this policy.

A reusable bag is perhaps a small thing in the midst of a global pandemic, but then the virus that causes the pandemic is a small thing too.

Mark Wallace

Oak Park

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