The world is facing the worst pandemic ever, and governments across the globe have been forced to impose lockdowns in cities and various hotspots. Through these lockdowns, authorities have been trying to minimize the physical contact between citizens as much as possible. Individuals have been advised to practice social distancing to protect themselves and control the spread of the deadly virus. But it is certainly impossible to stay indoors indefinitely as individuals must step outside to buy essentials.
Grocery shopping during the COVID crisis
As a responsible citizen, you must know how you should shop for all the essentials without compromising on the safety of yourself as that of others. It is important to follow lockdown rules and social distancing while shopping for essentials during emergencies. If you are wondering if it is safe to go to the grocery store now, then you will be relieved to know that by following specified safety guidelines, you can ensure your own safety as well as that of other fellow shoppers effectively. Hence, you need not be unnecessarily worried about visiting a grocery store if you are willing to abide by all the guidelines issued by the concerned authorities.
Safety in supermarkets during COVID-19
Another question that may beckon you is regarding the safety of supermarkets in the times of COVID-19. As the authorities are quite vigilant and strict during these times, COVID protocols have been readily implemented by most supermarkets. This includes capping on the number of visitors present in the store, mandatory usage of face masks and gloves, regular sanitization, temperature checks, and use of sanitizers. Moreover, you must abide by the specified rules to enjoy a safe experience while engaging in pandemic grocery shopping.
Steps to ensure safety while shopping for essentials
But how to stay safe while shopping for essentials amidst the Coronavirus pandemic? Here are some useful Coronavirus safety tips on how to stay safe while shopping for essentials during the Coronavirus.
- The first and foremost thing that you should keep in mind is that you need to check your health – check your temperature, see if you are sneezing or coughing, or any shortness of breath. If you have any symptoms related to the Coronavirus, you should try to stay at home and not risk yourself and others going out. You must maintain your personal hygiene and follow social distancing rules at all times.
- List all the things that you need to buy beforehand. You should try to include all the things in your essentials list that you urgently require so that you do not have to make repeated visits to stores. We must reduce the need to go out as much as possible.
- Carry your shopping bags. Do not depend on the shopping bags provided in shops as you never know how many hands have touched that.
- Do not miss your face mask. Wear your mask properly throughout your stay at the store. Try to get yourself an N-95 respirator as it is more efficient than other homemade masks and surgical masks. If you are using a surgical mask, you should make sure that it is a new one and dispose of it once you have used it.
- Travel alone when you are shopping. The best way to ensure social distancing is to not go out in groups or with multiple people. You should try going shopping for essentials alone and should prefer non-peak hours.
- Maintain the 2-meter rule. To keep social distance from other shoppers around you, you need to maintain the 2-meters social distancing rule. Many shops have markers on the floor that helps shoppers in forming queues as per the 2-meters social distancing rule.
- It may be impossible to wash your hands while shopping every time you touch something. Therefore, you should not forget to carry a hand sanitizer or any other disinfectant as a precautionary hygienic measure.
- Do not touch things or frequently touched surfaces unnecessarily. Try to maintain limited contact with everything and everyone around you. If the shop has a home delivery option, then try to go for that option because it offers more protection from the Coronavirus.
- Try to make cashless payments for all your essentials as there will be limited contact, and you will be protected from the Coronavirus.
- Choose a timing for your shopping which is not a peak hour. The more people, the greater are the chances of contracting the virus.
What to do once you are back home with your essentials?
After having completed your grocery shopping during the pandemic, you must follow the precautions mentioned below: -
- Wash your hands properly. Use soap and water and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. This will ensure that no germs are present on your hands. Do not touch your face with an unwashed hand.
- Do not put the mask that you were wearing here and there. If it is reusable, you can wash it. If it is disposable, then wrap it in a packet and throw it in the dustbin. Use gloves while disposing of your mask. Do not touch your mask with bare hands.
- You must change your clothes and put the soiled clothes for washing.
- If you have purchased any fruits or vegetables, you shall wash them before storing them.
- Items like meat, poultry, eggs, and other such perishables should be refrigerated within 2 hours of their purchase.
- You should not use disinfectants on consumable items as they may be very dangerous and harmful to your health.
- Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after you have stored all your shopping items. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol content to kill all the bacteria and viruses.
How to get groceries when you have COVID?
If you are wondering how to get groceries when you have COVID, then the best possible solution is to use online shopping platforms or place a home delivery order with your local grocery store for contactless shopping. You may also ask any of your friends, family members, or neighbors to get the required groceries for you.
- If you accept any online deliveries at home, you must get your purchased items without any physical contact with the delivery man. You can instruct the delivery man to drop the items at your gate and leave.
- When you receive deliverable goods, you should make sure that you are wearing gloves to prevent any direct contact with the virus. You should sanitize your hands after storing the items and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.
- You should throw away all the packaging that has come with the delivery of your items. These might carry viruses and germs, and you must get rid of them. Do not touch these packets with bare hands. Use gloves, if possible. Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds after you have treated these packets.
Need to wipe down groceries after shopping
As per WHO, there is no scientific evidence that the Coronavirus can survive outside of the human body. Hence, the chances of the virus transmitting through packaging are non-existent. So, there is no need for you to wipe down your groceries after you have returned home from shopping. But if you still want to wipe down your groceries, then go ahead as there is nothing to lose here. Instead, your focus should be on washing your hands with soap and applying an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Coronavirus is a deadly virus and to can take a toll on your health. You need to take it seriously while you are out shopping. You must be prepared with the above-mentioned essential Coronavirus tips to keep yourself safe and socially distanced from the novel Coronavirus. There are shopkeepers and other employees who are taking risks and going to their jobs to serve you. When you are out shopping, you must keep that in mind and appreciate their work towards you. These small gestures can help others cope in this deadly situation and push them to put in their best efforts.