Sanitizing Amazon and freebies in a pandemic

Sunday Signal

By Kim Komando, Signal Contributing Writer

Suddenly without much preparation, Americans were told to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. Remote working was no longer an option just for adventurous millennials. And parents were also asked to be full-time teachers.

Unemployment rates skyrocketed as many small businesses closed. But at the same time, I did the research and found a silver lining.

Since my 20-plus-year career on national network radio and as a tech columnist focuses strictly on living the best digital life, I see other changes that may not be readily apparent. What the internet and technologies have driven in terms of convenience must now be approached with caution. Let me explain how.

Opening your Amazon boxes and other online orders

One week before the news broke that at least 10 Amazon warehouse facilities had workers infected with the coronavirus, I warned my audience not to simply pull out a box-cutter and grab their orders out of a box. You can’t do that anymore. Lots of people touch your online orders.

Think about it. There are the people who packed the order, the ones who load the trucks and the final deliverer to your home.

Technically, the virus could last for up to 24 hours on cardboard. Only open your Amazon boxes, or other online orders, outside and immediately throw the box away. If you have latex gloves, use them. Clean the wrapping off the items you ordered and the item itself with disinfectant wipes. Make sure you’re using chemicals that are known to kill the coronavirus.

Remove the gloves and rely on the CDC’s top recommendation. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in hot soapy water.

Here are a few notable names on the list of agents effective in eliminating SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, include the following widely available cleaning products, according to the Environmental Protection Agency:

Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Clorox Commercial Solutions® Clorox® Disinfecting Spray

Lysol brand Heavy-Duty Cleaner Disinfectant Concentrate

Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist

Lysol brand Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner

Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes

Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray

Coronavirus freebies: Companies giving out free stuff right now, and how to get it

How can I use these to protect myself? Is there anything else I can do?

Right now, your biggest concern will be protecting your mouth, nose and eyes from coming into contact with the virus. This is why handwashing is highly encouraged, as people frequently touch their faces and eyes without realizing it.

If your hands are clean and you can avoid touching your face, you’re far less likely to let the virus into your body. It’s also worth disinfecting surfaces you frequently touch. Items like your phone come into contact with your hands, which come into contact with your environment.

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies are offering special freebies and deals. From free software from Google and Microsoft to buy one and get one free at Olive Garden, companies are trying to help. We did the research and put together a very comprehensive list you’ll find on my site.

Check out Kim’s list on her site:

For information on Kim Komando on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks, visit her at  

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