While the world may be "shut down" in some capacities, we all still have things that we need to do! Some may have the ability to order everything online and touchless shop, but most don't have that luxury. In a world where we fight an invisible enemy in the form of a virus, how do we stay safe while getting our groceries?
We still need to eat, even during a pandemic (maybe even more so!). As a result, grocery stores are still open and considered essential. With the stores still open, they are often the only place that we frequent that has large numbers of people moving through poorly ventilated areas. Knowing that, how can we stay safe?
Make sure that you review and follow these simple tips when planning on going to the grocery store.
Social distancing essentially means limiting your contact with others' immediate space. The general guideline for this is keeping 6 feet away from people in public. This is particularly effective at reducing the contact that you may have with someone who could be carrying the virus. Since it travels on aerosolized water vapor (your breath), staying 6 feet away ensures that you never contact their bad breath (or the virus).
Unfortunately, this has become a political issue in the US. Currently, the leading authorities like the WHOand the CDCrecommend wearing a cloth face covering. If that isn't convincing enough for you, Bill Nye (the science guy himself) recommends it. Using a mask makes sure that you don't spread anything, reduces the risk of ou breathing in anything, and can also keep you from touching your face as much!
Fewer people means fewer chances of exposure. Pick a time when you know that the store will be less crowded and easier to maintain proper distancing. While this is mostly a local thing, many stores are quieter in the early morning and later at night. Many places also offer special hours for the elderly or those at higher risk. Make sure you check their website or call!
When using a shopping cart, make sure to bring a wipe or cloth and disinfectant. Wiping down the cart in the spots you touch it is a sure way to make sure it is clean and free from any virus. If particularly careful, you can clean the surfaces on certain items when you get home before bringing them inside! Who knows how many people touched that item before you?
Soap is incredible! It is basically magic when it comes to removing viruses and bacteria off a surface. Make sure that you don't touch your face at the store and until after you wash your hands. Once you get into your car, you can use hand sanitizer until you get home. Once you arrive, follow this guide to washing your hands! It is by Alton Brown and is incredibly informative.
While we can't be perfectly safe all the time, we can be careful. There is no need to be fearful and anxious when it comes to going to the store. Following these simple steps is sure to keep you safer and provide some peace of mind.
Written by Colby Maxwell