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So careful but I've fucked up

(41 Posts)
ToLiveInPeace Wed 15-Apr-20 22:32:14

Not sure why I'm posting other than to say arrrrrrrrrgh. My husband is extremely vulnerable and I'm incredibly careful about sanitising and quarantining anything coming into the house. This morning, right after the recycling boxes were emptied, I moved them to the back garden to sit there all day and washed my hands...

... And this evening, while we were doing DIY, I moved them without thinking - the plastic boxes handled by the binmen who handled things handled by everyone for miles around - and then touched all the things my husband was touching and touched my face and blew my nose. Probably the worst thing I could ever have touched. I've wiped and cleaned everything but... Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks.

This is madness but I've no idea if I'm overreacting. My job is to keep him safe :/

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stairway Wed 15-Apr-20 22:36:29

I think you are over reacting. Viruses are quite fragile things when exposed to the fresh air.

Watertorture Wed 15-Apr-20 22:37:30

When were the binmen last there?
Bet it was long enough ago that nothing would have remained.
You've done very well (better than most I'd say) up to then at reducing your risks.

middleager Wed 15-Apr-20 22:38:57

You are being too hard on yourself. You cannot control everything.

kevintheorangecarrot Wed 15-Apr-20 22:39:10

I know the feeling! When I went outside to get something from the car then come back in, I had an incredibly itchy eye so there I was itching it then immediately realised I hadn't washed my hands and I've touched bloody the door knob! It's a scary thing. I think it is quite minimal risk but don't beat yourself up about it. X

EarringsandLipstick Wed 15-Apr-20 22:39:58

Very minimal risk. Please don't worry.

Lindy2 Wed 15-Apr-20 22:40:57

Have they been out in the sunshine today? I understand that UV light is generally good at killing off germs. If the bins have had a good dose of sunlight today then that should have helped sanitise them.

RogueV Wed 15-Apr-20 22:41:27


ToLiveInPeace Wed 15-Apr-20 22:43:10

I touched them again about 12 hours after the binmen did. Probably low risk - right? - but now I'm too worried to sleep.

Thanks for being kind. I sincerely hope I am overreacting.. . I had to watch him being revived in a foreign emergency room last year. My nerves are shredded.

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TheSheepofWallSt Wed 15-Apr-20 22:44:15

Viruses don’t survive well in sunlight. It will be fine.

avotoast1 Wed 15-Apr-20 22:44:18

I know it's an anxious time, but you're being ridiculous.

SlightyJaded Wed 15-Apr-20 22:44:34

OK. I'm like you and I"d immediately panic, BUT...

Although the virus can live on certain surfaces for a while, it needs a human host to survive at 'full capacity'. In other words it will have started to deteriorate in strength from the moment the binmen touched it. Assuming - and it's a big assumption - that any virus was transferred onto the box, you didn't touch again till the evening, plus the boxes were outside.

So the chances of you touching the exact spot where a possible or possibly not infected glove from a binman, touched it and picking up onto your finger some virus that's been out in the fresh air all day, is minimal. It really really is.

ArriettyJones Wed 15-Apr-20 22:51:43

It’s a tiny mistake. Highly unlikely it’s caused any harm flowers

ToLiveInPeace Wed 15-Apr-20 22:52:55

Thank you, everyone especially to SlightlyJaded. He collapsed recently and banged his head and my first thought was that there might not be an ambulance if needed. And then he got really with a bad tooth infection that the first lot of antibiotics didn't fix and I fretted about sepsis and ambulances.
It's been a bad month.

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Riv Wed 15-Apr-20 22:56:46

If they've been in the open air for about 12 hours the risk is low. If they were in the sun for a bit during that time, the risk is really very low as sunshine on a hard surface is a great virus killer.

peajotter Wed 15-Apr-20 22:56:57

Remember that even when there were no precautions and people were shaking hands, travelling on packed trains etc, the average person with symptoms only infected around 5 others. Although it can stay on surfaces for reasonable amounts of time, the chances are that it doesn’t survive in high enough levels to infect anyone. Otherwise we would all have got it within a week or two.

The two Chinese tourists in York (early cases, 1st feb) went all over the place and touched many things but there were no linked cases in York over the next few weeks. And that was before social distancing etc.

ToLiveInPeace Wed 15-Apr-20 23:02:47

All good thoughts, thank you smile It's possible this lockdown is sending me doolally.

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B1rdbra1n Wed 15-Apr-20 23:08:08

ToLive, I totally get why you feel freaked but really I don't think there is a need to be alarmed.
It's very hard to keep on an even keel at the moment, I hope you can relax a bit now😊

16943389ao Wed 15-Apr-20 23:08:24

I’m a massive worrier so I totally sympathise but you’re absolutely being too hard on yourself. The risk is so tiny, as they’ve been out in the sunlight all day and the virus deteriorates as soon as it leaves the body. Hope you get some much needed sleep very soon.

SlightyJaded Wed 15-Apr-20 23:09:24

I honestly understand - it would send me into a meltdown initially, but I promise you - the odds are soooooooooo against this.

I lost my sense of reason earlier with DD. She had been out for her one run of the day and her friend was also running in the park. They stopped and walked for a few metres together talking. She told me when she got home and I was literally yelling in DD's face "BUT WERE YOU TWO METRES APART THE WHOLE TIME? WERE YOU?'. Eventually she burst into tears and said "I don't know. I didn't have a ruler! But we didn't touch, kept apart and spoke for about five minutes. Are you telling me I've brought the disease into our home? To Dad? (who is quite high risk)?"

I had to take a deep breath and tell her that she hadn't done anything wrong. It's easy to lose your mind.

givemeacall Wed 15-Apr-20 23:12:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deydododatdodontdeydo Wed 15-Apr-20 23:20:00

Over reaction, sorry.
Many people are working in situations where they are touching people with symptoms or suspected every day, and they aren't worrying like you are.

Thripp Wed 15-Apr-20 23:25:15

OP, I'd say you really are worrying unnecessarily, though I can understand why you are.

To put it in perspective, I have over the last three weeks:

Been to supermarkets most days

Seen a friend who is not a member of my household but who needs me to shop for them.

Handled money (I now have no money in my bank account, thanks to Covid, so am using up the cash I have in pockets etc)

Dropped money on the floor in M&S, picked it up, then didn't wash my hands before absent-mindedly eating a Jelly Baby.

Opened my post without a second thought.

Eaten raspberries without washing them (M&S, so I am sure they are virus free grin).

Taken out and brought in the bins without a second thought.

Had a plumber here to sort out my leaking kitchen sink.

I still haven't caught this sodding virus yes I know I could be an asymptomatic transmitter, but I have nobody much to transmit it to

So it is perhaps not quite as easy to transmit or catch it as people are saying. That being the case, and given that you are doing so much to keep your DH safe, I'd say that your worries, while understandable, are unnecessary in this case.

JustStayHome Wed 15-Apr-20 23:26:40

I understand your worry

But sunlight kills virus's , especially today as it was very warm.

Please try and not worry and ignore any mean people on here.
They dont understand the stress this is causing

ToLiveInPeace Wed 15-Apr-20 23:28:20

One of the kindest threads I've read on MN. Thank you and goodnight x

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