Quarantine Survival Q&As

This is where document those practical questions we had while navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic.

What questions would you like the answers to? Comment below to let us know!

About where to get the latest COVID19 numbers…

1. Where can I get a quick read on the situation?

This dashboard by Johns Hopkins is pretty awesome.

2. Where can I track the details around the confirmed cases and the testing volume?

This site behind this Atlantic article is quite helpful. Note that this is U.S. only. If you are interested in/have suggestions for another region, please let us know!

3. Where can I find centralized information about COVID-19?

Google just launched the site that compiles information and resources about the novel coronavirus, and it’s quite comprehensive. (It’s Google after all!)

About that stuff you ordered from Amazon (or Box or ThriveMarket or elsewhere)…

1. Can the novel coronavirus spread via the packaging for your Amazon orders?

Yes, according to this study quoted by the Economist, although only for a limited amount of time.

2. How long shall I wait before going down to get the package?

Depending on the packaging material — the below details are based on the experimental condition mimicking the ambient environment. If you don’t want to wait like us, see the next question. Here are the details.

Boxes — It seems that most of the shipping boxes now are corrugated ones, which structurally differ slightly from the cardboard boxes, but the underlying materials are similar. The study suggests that the virus won’t survive on those boxes beyond 24 hours. So, you should be good if you let it sit downstairs for a day.

Envelopes — The exterior material of the padded envelopes is usually plastic, in which case minimum viable virus could survive for 72 hours according to the same study. The eco-friendly ones have a paper exterior (similar to the elemental material for the cardboard box) so the virus won’t survive after 24 hours. In brief, around 3 days would be safe.

3. How can I safely pick up my Amazon packages or other delivered goods?

Our building management has advised the following:

  • Use bags to cover your delivered items. Safely sanitize and discard the bag used in another sealed bag to avoid the possible spreading of the virus.
  • Use gloves to accept packages from outside couriers. Safely use sanitizing spray on the used gloves and discard the gloves in a sealed bag.
  • Wear masks or covering on around your face and nose.

About how to cope with this new working-from-home (WFH) theme…

1. How does Quarantine Kitchen’s function? Is everyone WFH, too?

As an entity born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably imagine that we are indeed a global team dispersed in different cities. We have been communicating via emailing, texting, conventional phone calls, social media messaging and tried several free conferencing tools (Google Hangout, Zoom, Skype) with screen share capability.

2. How can I set up a conference call for everyone to join?

This article talks about a pretty short list of tools that are not too overwhelming for beginners.


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