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Re: radiating mail
In order to penetrate paper and kill bacteria, the post office would
need to use long wave length radiation like X-rays. If the bad guys
wrapped the bacteria in tinfoil or lead foil, you would need something
really penetrating like very strong gamma radiation. It has to be
intense enough to cause damage to the cellular material and not just
pass right through. UV radiation is on the other end of the spectrum and
has trouble making it through glass, never mind paper!
If it can kill bacteria, it can certainly exterminate higher life forms
such as plants.
I expect that the post office would provide some type of notification to
the public since seeds and other biological specimens are commonly sent
by mail. At the moment, I expect they would only use sterilizing
equipment at sensitive places like the white house but maybe they will
put it everywhere eventually. It makes sense. Unfortunately, mail is
only one of many ways to distribute biohazards.