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COVID-19: credit card terminals are not that safe





Amidst fears of spreading and catching coronavirus, consumers are reviewing which daily gestures cause the most contamination. At first, banknotes seemed an obvious culprit. But a German Institute has dispelled that notion, and reminded that cash is a very poor vector, whereas credit card terminals are a dream-come-true for the virus.

COVID19, like any other virus, has a life-span. Of course, its dream is to infect a cell, where it has a cosy place to breed, develop and send out new viral material, for extra contamination. But once the viral material is produced, it needs a way to transfer to a new host. Coughing droplets are great for that, but how often do people into each other’s faces? So, the next best thing is for the virus-infected droplets to fall on a surface and simply wait for some new host to touch it, betting on the fact that the tainted hand will soon reach the mouth (after 20 minutes, on average). What surface the droplets falls on, however, will prove crucial for the end of the story. Indeed, recent research has proven that viral material stayed active for varying periods of time, according to what they lay on. Live Science reporter Yasemin Saplakoglu writes : “A new analysis found that the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours. This study was originally published in the preprint database medRxiv on March 11, and now a revised version was published March 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine.” Keep those figures in mind, this is where it gets interesting.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view