The coronavirus pandemic has really caused a major shift in our daily lives. With many cities now going on lockdown, the chances of spreading the virus within a short period of time can decrease significantly. This is making people around the world avoid physical contact but the virus is able to be transmitted by objects like banknotes and business cards. Yes, that means paper bill currency can contain the coronavirus.
This also means no more handshakes, hugs, or fist bumps. Does this also mean we shouldn’t exchange paper bill currencies with one another? Of course, we must avoid these types of daily gestures to limit the risk of spreading the virus. After all, we’ve all heard that many people who carry the coronavirus may not show any symptoms. This can cause many to become anxious.
Rhinoviruses and coronaviruses are recognized as the major causes of the common cold syndrome, which makes it hard to distinguish if someone has contracted the coronavirus or if one simply has a common cold. Both these viruses can lead to serious respiratory illnesses. Therefore, we need to take every precaution to protect ourselves and others.
Is cash still King?
What’s even more alerting is that viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours. Because of this, more businesses and individuals have stopped handling and using banknotes fearing that transmission can occur. And it’s not just small businesses and everyday people who have halted the handling of cash.
The Federal Reserve has been delaying the processing and recirculating of dollars that have been shipped from Asia. In Paris, visitors of the Louvre Museum are not allowed to pay in cash. In Iran, citizens have been advised to stop using banknotes. China’s central bank has declared to destroy most banknotes collected by hospitals, markets, and even buses in certain regions that were greatly affected by the coronavirus. They are certainly taking the right precautions. Knowing that paper bill currency can contain the coronavirus, it’s crucial to limit the risk of spreading infection.
So, can you become infected with the novel coronavirus through paper money?
Public health experts do believe that the coronavirus is transmittable through “fomites” – surfaces such as paper money, that have been handled by an infected person. The fact is, infectious viruses, including the coronavirus varieties can live on inanimate surfaces, including metal, plastic, and paper.
Research has shown that other types of viruses can live on banknotes and coins while maintaining their infectiousness for days. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Adding another precaution in order to limit the risk of spreading this virus is one we can all consider acting on. After all, other coronaviruses including SARS and MERS were transmitted through fomites, according to the World Health Organization.
Is it time to ditch paper?
Playboy, headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, has recently announced that they will be stopping regular print issues. CEO Beh Kohn stated that the coronavirus pandemic was a factor in speeding the company’s decision to embark on a “digital-first publishing schedule for all of their content. It’s a smart decision.
Researchers say that this family of viruses can survive between four and five days on various materials like aluminium, wood, paper, plastic and glass. When we think about materials we often exchange such as paper bills and business cards. Could this be a good time to go paperless with money and business cards?