If you've visited any big-name grocery store — Trader Joe's, Safeway, Whole Foods — this week, chances are you weren’t allowed to use a reusable bag. Why? Because on Tuesday, San Francisco banned shoppers from using them and “other reusable items" to thwart the spread of COVID-19.

Over a decade ago, San Francisco became one of the first U.S. cities to forbid single-use plastic bags, according to SFGate. It was done as an effort to curb the excessive consumption of throw-away bags, as well as means to encourage patrons to buy durable totes. But, spoiler alert: reusable times, as eco-conscious as they are, can serve as both Petri dishes and transmission vectors for pathogens — like the novel coronavirus. Because most reusable bags are made from either recycled plastics or porous fabrics, clusters of COVID-19 could, theoretically, survive on those items anywhere between 24 to 48 hours.

It’s little wonder why SF officials opted to prohibit the use of them... for the time being.