doctors banish magazines

As doctors and dentists reopen their offices, patients have noticed something missing: the magazines. Medical providers have removed periodicals from waiting rooms as a precaution during the coronavirus. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommended that its 136,700 members get rid of all their publications during Covid-19. And it’s not just doctor’s offices: United and Delta removed in-flight magazines from seat-back pockets as part of new cleaning procedures.

For years, print media has faced an existential threat from the internet. Now, publications are grappling with a new challenge — fears that you can get the coronavirus by touching them. It’s just the latest blow to an industry already ravaged by an aging customer base and the shift of advertising to Google and Facebook.

“We’ve thrown out all the magazines,” a South Carolina doctor recently told a local TV station. “I mean, I wouldn’t touch one. It just seems like that’s a bad idea.”

Health experts say it’s highly unlikely that someone could get infected this way. On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s possible to get Covid-19 by touching an object with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, “but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

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by Gerry Smith, Bloomberg

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