NOTE: The video that this blog post is based on has the word “coronavirus” bleeped out and replaced with the emoticons for “beer flu” since the YouTube algorithm is demonetizing and suppressing videos with that particular word.
Last week Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech announced on Twitter that he got a package from China. As far as he was concern, “it was Coronavirus in a box.” He apologized to the unnamed Chinese company for disposing of the unopened package. An irrational overreaction on his part to the coronavirus epidemic in China? If the package came over on a slow boat from China, he clearly overreacted. If the package came over on a fast airplane from China, he may not be overreacting. Speaking of fast airplanes from China, Apple plans to ship millions of new iPhone 12s all over the world later this year.
Will “coronavirus in a box” be coming to an Apple Store near you?
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the risk of contracting the coronavirus from imported goods is low.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods.Coronavirus F.A.Q., United States Center For Disease Control
The coronavirus, based on what I’ve read so far, can survive 30 minutes to nine days outside the human body. Most imported goods arrive on a slow boat from China that takes 30 days to cross the Pacific Ocean. Plenty of time for the coronavirus to die off in transit. Apple, however, ships iPhones by air that take three to five days for the same trip. Depending on survivability, the coronavirus could still be alive and able to infect on contact.
People infected with the coronavirus can pass it on to others before they show outward signs of being sick. If you have ever been to a busy Apple Store, a few sick employees can easily expose a huge number of people. All the Apple Stores in China were shut down for the last two weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Should you be concern about getting he coronavirus from a brand-new iPhone 12 at the Apple Store? Probably not.
As I pointed out in my previous post about medical mask hoarders, the regular flu has infected and killed more Americans than the coronavirus has infected and killed Chinese. The best protection against the coronavirus and regular flu is to avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and wash your hands frequently. If you haven’t gotten one yet, get a flu shot.
If you do get an iPhone 12 at the Apple Store, you might want to bring your own alcohol-based hand wipe to wipe it down. The employee setting up your iPhone 12 may not have washed their hands.