grocery shopping during coronavirus

The global pandemic has changed the entire way of living. Remember, the good old days when we can head towards the grocery store anytime on a whim or craving? We used to enjoy shopping for groceries and other household items before, but now it has become a stressful task. You may have several questions on your mind, such as: Should I wear gloves? Can I use reusable bags? Do I need to disinfect all the purchased items? How can I stay safe while touching products in the store? 

Here are some of the best tips for safe grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic:

 

Know how to protect yourself before shopping

 

  • Before stepping out of your home, wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Wear a good face covering or mask.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Keep a safe distance of six feet from other shoppers.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfect your shopping cart.
  • Visit the store during odd hours, because less crowd means fewer risks of coronavirus transmission.

 

Many retailers keep the early morning hours for those who are 60 years or older or immunosuppressed. These hours further restrict the number of shoppers, thereby offering added safety for those who need the most. 

 

Make a list and shop accordingly

 

Planning and mitigating your grocery store trips during the pandemic lowers your risks of confronting others who may have COVID-19. It's also sensible to select a store that holds most or all of what you require, so you only have to visit just one or two stores. 

Heading off the grocery store with a plan will eventually keep you systematic and focused on buying the things you need. Make a list of items you want, such as a meal plan, and hoard your cart with items that enable you to make lesser monthly trips. When you're ready to step out, don't forget to wear a face mask.

 

Assign one member of your family for grocery visits

 

If you can, restrict one person to do the grocery shopping in your home. (To prevent high-risk people in your family having to go out.) You may be allured to take the whole family because ultimately, everyone is locked up. But it would be better if one person goes to control exposure in the store.

 

It's okay if you don't wear gloves

 

Regrettably, numerous people don't wear or discard gloves properly, which beats the whole point of wearing them. Cross-infection and self-contamination take place easily when wearing gloves. Moreover, wearing gloves can give you a perception of false protection. Your best option is to sanitize or wash your hands before entering the store, after your leave and again when you get back home.

 

Restrain the surfaces you touch

 

Now is not the time when you can pick several products before making a choice or digging in clearance boxes. Note the items you wish to buy, Attentively search for them and try only to touch what you require.

 

Shop quickly & efficiently

 

Know the items you require before going into the store. Thus, you have a plan and aren't just reviewing the aisles pointlessly, which can elevate your risk.

 

Stay calm about disinfecting your groceries

 

Many infectious disease specialists concur that the highest risk in grocery shopping is inside the store with people who might have coronavirus and not the products on the shelves.

Although it's possible to get coronavirus from contaminated surfaces, you're very likely to get it from the respiratory droplets from another person. For this reason, practising social distancing is a must.

If you maintain good hand hygiene, such as washing your hands thoroughly after putting your groceries away, before cooking and before eating, your chances of getting infected by the groceries are still low.

If you wish to clean your groceries, it's best not to use disinfecting wipes, which are designed for rigid surfaces, use soap and water instead. If you have bought fresh fruits and vegetables, wash them with water only.

 

Recognize the real threat

 

Researchers agree that coronavirus is primarily spread through tiny droplets expelled when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Therefore, maintain at least six feet distance between you and other people and be cautious when someone is in the same wing as you. Be informed about the items you touch and be careful about disinfecting your hands. But recognize that the real threat is being near other people in a confined area. Get in, be six feet away from everybody else, buy what you require and get home.

 

Disinfect your reusable grocery bags

 

While reusable grocery bags are perfect for the environment, some preventive measures must be adopted to keep them neat and sterilized. Consider the following tips while using reusable bags:

  • Wash your reusable bags frequently - either by hand with warm soap solution or in the washing machine.
  • After unwrapping the bags at home, disinfect all the surfaces they were on.
  • Wash your hands after keeping your groceries to the appropriate place.
  • Keep the bags in a clean, dry place.

 

Avoid keeping the bags in the trunk of your car

 

Some shops have prohibited the use of reusable bags during this time. So make sure you follow the instructions your grocery store has in place.

 

Shop online and stay safe

 

If you're experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms like cough, fever or breathing difficulty, we recommend you should avoid visiting the grocery store. Instead, take benefit of online grocery stores or physical stores that deliver the items at your doorstep. You can also utilize these services whether or not you're sick and just wish to reduce the risk by staying home. 



Many online vendors have started the same delivery services to ensure their customers are getting fresh fruits and veggies whenever they require. Always make an online payment to reduce the risk of transmission from currency notes.



Sources:

 

https://www.nwpc.com/

https://blog.dana-farber.org/

https://health.ucdavis.edu/

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/

https://www.geisinger.org/