Reusable bags now allowed again in MA grocery stores

I know this has been a topic of discussion for those of us in the area.

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Except in Cambridge, which has decided to extend the ban on reusable bags.

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Thanks for the update!

COVID is spread by droplets dispersed via breathing. Some virus remain on particle, but the amount is usually too small and the virus quickly becomes non-viable on a surface to infect.

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I think Boston proper too is extended. So much for my extra few months of free kitty pooper bags.

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Where I am in Northern California, we still don’t seem to be able bring bags into the store (I haven’t read the fine print), but they have been charging for them again for several weeks. I usually just pile things in the cart, and transfer into bags in my car, but I get a new paper bag from time to time, for collecting recyclables. Six months ago I couldn’t have imagined choosing to pay for a bag again.

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More recent publications (not media) have demonstrated that CV-19 is airborne and that is a major transmission vector. That means the early concerns about surfaces are less (not none) of an issue than masks.

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Here in New Jersey, many stores banned reusable bags for a while, but currently the rule seems to be that you can use them, but you have to pack them.

Given the tendency of clerks to underpack plastic bags, I have enough from three months to last me a lifetime of using them as garbage bin liners, so I am thrilled to go back to reusables.

(Costco has done the bagless thing foever, but that assumes everyone has a car.)

There’s also the issue of viral load. The droplets from an infected person has a high viral load. Extended exposure to this person increases the chance of infection. Viral load on surfaces are much lower.

There’s a research last month that says infection rate for people who came into contact with an infected supermarket checkout worker:

  • family members of the worker: something like 9%
  • coworkers of the worker: around 7%
  • customers who come into contact with the checkout worker: 0.2%
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Sure. Consider the absolutes. Family members might be one, two, a small handful. Coworkers a dozen or two. Customers could be hundreds.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold