To the editor:

Money Laundering

Now that I have caught your curiosity, this article is not about the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transaction.

Rather, this article is about individuals such as I who worry about the pandemic and ways in which better protect themselves and others.

The money you handle, whether from a bank or in the form of change is host to thousands of pathogens. Money is dirty and can transmit resistant microbes, such as the Covid19 virus. The U.S. dollar bill, you hold in your hand, harbors thousands of pathogens which may cause illnesses such as skin infections, stomach ulcer, food poisoning and, even death. On average, U.S. bank notes are in circulation for 15 years.

Coins are built to last and, you can find coins for sale that date back to roman era, if not earlier. The average lifespan of a coin in the U.S. is roughly 30 to 50 years and coins change hands thousands of times daily and, never get cleaned.

If you intend to keep yourself and your family safe from the current epidemic, take time to clean your money. You can soak money in common dish soap with a little ammonia or bleach which works well and only take a few minutes. Rinse and dry bills on a paper towel of dish towel. Coins can be dried after rinsing just using a cloth or towel. Lemon juice may be used as a mild, natural alternative.

Remember, we are all in this together. Stay safe!

Robert Theberge

Berlin

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