Covid-19 Virus, How to Penpal Safely - Updated 6th April 2020

At Global Penfriends, our members health is important to us. Below you will find information related to how you can stay safe from transmittable viruses whilst enjoying penpalling.

Is it safe to receive mail through the post?
Whilst many services have been shutdown due to the Covid-19 flu crisis - you may have noticed that postal services around the world continue to operate. The main reason for postal systems staying online is that there is currently no evidence to support that covid-19 has been transmitted via the postal system. Above all else, we want our members to be safe - Lets explore the transmission of Covid-19 on surfaces such as cardboard and paper which is relevant to our members in the penpal community.

Transmission of viruses on Paper and Cardboard
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that tested how long Covid-19 could remain stable on various surfaces and they found it was stable on cardboard for upto 24 hours:

Since most penpals on Global Penfriends are sending and receiving letters and packages from overseas which will take 1-4 weeks to receive, the risk of transmission is most likely from your local postal service to your door. With this information in mind, We suggest that during this virus epidemic, allow any packages or letters received to sit in a dry place for at least 24 hours prior to opening to minimise any risk of infection. If you must open the package or letter straight away, please ensure you discard the envelope / box immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

The risk of transmission from a letter or package in the mail is extremely low due to paper and cardboard being porous and absorbent - The virus needs to be wet to be transmissible. The main route of transmission will be directly from one person to another via coughing or sneezing.

At such a time when many of us are subject to social distancing measures, it is fortunate that our members can still enjoy penpalling. Please take care of your families and each other during this period.