Corona and Cash: Should You Be Afraid to Handle Dollars?
With the fear of the coronavirus spreading through contact with surfaces, some people are afraid of handling cash. They are afraid that they can get infected because of the virus found in the dollar bills.
Is there a basis for this fear? Should people refrain from handling cash and if so, how should you pay for stuff?
What Are the Odds That You Can Get the Virus from Cash?
It is still unclear how long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces. Earlier in the year, there were reports that getting infected from contaminated surfaces was unlikely. Recent research, however, indicates that it can survive for a long time in surfaces but that’s still not definite.
What’s crucial is that you should take precautions.
According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible to catch the virus through contact with contaminated surfaces but that is not the main way that it is thought to be transmitted. It is believed that the main way that the virus is transmitted is through respiratory droplets.
The central bank of China disinfected and destroyed bills that might have been contaminated, but that step is considered to be too drastic. The United States is not about to destroy dollars yet, but according to the Federal Reserve, they are in close coordination with the CDC so they can be informed about the latest information on how the virus can contaminate objects including money.
People have been alarmed by the possibility of getting infected through the handling of cash because of reports. One such report was published in the United Kingdom. The report said that the World Health Organization is warning against the use of cash and is recommending cashless transactions. The truth is that the WHO has not issued such warnings.
Use of Cash Is Unavoidable
Payment through cash is no longer the number one payment method in the United States, although it is still used in 25% of all transactions. For some people, paying through cash is unavoidable. This is especially true for those with low-income households.
Anyway, washing hands properly is still the best way that you can avoid catching the virus. No matter how contaminated the bills that you are handling are, washing your hands properly can protect you.
The use of cash is not the only concern that people have when it comes to banking and finance. A lot of people are worried as to how they can conduct transactions when many cities are implementing quarantines and lockdowns.
To solve the problem, some banks are providing services via drive-thru lanes. Sometimes, customers will have to make appointments to transact through the lanes. Some banks have reduced their banking hours and have adjusted policies to reduce the amount of time that each customer can spend inside a branch to promote social distancing.
Things are never going to be the same even after the pandemic has died down. People must continue to be careful with how they handle things and social distancing should still be implemented.