DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have been spraying my mail with Lysol for a couple of weeks now. I know they say you should sterilize cardboard boxes, but I am wondering if I should continue to spray the regular mail. Is this necessary? Will Lysol kill the coronavirus?

— No name, Greene

ANSWER: According to articles I have read on this topic, Dave Partenheimer, spokesperson for the USPS, has confirmed that the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.

It is recommended that if you have a package delivered, to wait until the delivery driver is at least 6 feet away before collecting the item. Experts also recommend setting aside your packages and other mail for 24 hours in a designated corner. Always wash your hands and refrain from touching your face after handling everything.

Of course, if it gives you a level of confidence, continue to disinfect your mail, keeping in mind that the virus clings to plastic and metal services longer than it does to cardboard and paper.

My routine has been to open everything I can outside and throw away all the envelopes, boxes and junk mail immediately in my outdoor recycling/trash. I have a dedicated basket in my mudroom where I set bills and another for items I want to read later. I don’t set anything I bring into the house, including bags of groceries or my purse, on my kitchen counters or table. And after handling my mail and packages, I thoroughly wash my hands.

A friend of mine who works for the postal service has advised that customers scrub down their mailbox with soap and water from time to time and spray it with Lysol. If your mailbox is in direct sunlight and buffeted by all the strong winds we’ve had lately, I think that helps too.

On these web sites, and, the EPA has established a list of Lysol-brand and Clorox-brand disinfectants that meet their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.

Most Lysol products meet either the EPA Viral Emerging Pathogen Policy or have human coronavirus claims. Keep in mind that these disinfectants must be used specifically as directed.

Both websites state that the No. 1 most important thing you can do to prevent the transmission of coronavirus is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 29 seconds after handling your mail, going grocery shopping, or really doing anything at all.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: A neighbor asked if I needed any groceries. I did and off she went. At the store, when she paid for my order, the gentleman in front of her had paid $20 forward so when she gave me my receipt, I gave her the $20 for gas. We were all blessed. Love multiplies as we divide it among each other. I just wanted that gentleman to know how much I appreciated him.

— No name, no town

ANSWER: Contending with COVID-19 is really getting everybody down, yet there are angels out there. One small act of kindness can really make a difference and I am challenging everyone to do your little bit to make someone’s day brighter. You are all in my prayers.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: