The onset of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has completely changed how many of us go about our daily lives. Issues and circumstances previously considered mundane are now freighted with a significance that prevents us from ever completing tasks in a normal fashion. One of these tasks is grocery shopping. Nowadays, shoppers must pay attention to many factors that were ordinarily ignored. Not only is the grocery store one of those places that we must frequent (we need to eat, afterall), but so do a number of people whose personal wellness is unknown to us. Consequently, a mundane task such as grocery shopping puts us at risk for contracting viruses, including Covid-19. Since the alternative is not to abandon grocery shopping altogether, we must learn how to do it safely. Apart from wearing a mask and refraining from touching your face, here are some tips to help you keep your pantry stocked without becoming ill.
Have your groceries delivered – Of course the best way to avoid potential infection from Covid-19 is to avoid the grocery altogether. The rise of the virus has brought with it a number of services that will deliver your groceries right to your door. Companies like Mercato not only take the hassle out of grocery shopping, but help keep you safe in the process.
Avoid the crowd – One of the best tools in your arsenal may be to just avoid the grocery store when it’s crowded. If it’s a store you frequent regularly, you may have an idea of when it tends to get a little jammed such as on weekends and on payday. If you visit on a day where there’s an unexpected crowd, either put off your shopping or get it done as quickly as possible.
Avoid paying with cash – If you do need to be at the grocery in person, or even if you have your groceries delivered, it is a good idea to avoid paying for your goods with cash. While cash can be convenient for some, especially those who aren’t fond of using debit or credit cards, remember that pathogens can live on surfaces including money for days. Therefore avoid using cash if you can, but if you have no choice, be sure to sanitize your hands after handling cash.
Sanitize continuously – Refraining from touching your eyes, nose and mouth is the best way to avoid becoming infected. However, sometimes mistakes do happen. No one is immune. To prepare for these mental lapses, make sure you bring along sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer to help you clean your shopping cart and hands as you go along. Keep in mind that people tend to touch and replace items as they shop, therefore it’s important to clean your own hands as often as you can.
Disinfect your non-porous containers – Any item you bring home from the store can potentially carry pathogens on their surfaces. This is why upon returning home it’s important to sanitize all cans, bottles, jars and bags that you bring home from the store. It is also necessary to sanitize all your grocery bags and all surfaces they have touched. Wiping of your packages with a simple solution of a teaspoon of bleach to a cup of water can do the trick. Let the surfaces remain wet for at least a minute. In the end, the most important decision is to always be aware of our own bodies and our surroundings. Avoiding crowds, frequent sanitization and refraining from touching your face can make a huge difference in your wellbeing in any situation. These considerations become even more important when we visit much frequented places like grocery stores. However, with a little mindfulness, your grocery store runs don’t have to put you in danger.