We all know the SOP when it comes to protecting ourselves against the coronavirus: rigorous hand sanitation and strict social distancing. But what happens when you’re at the supermarket facing a crowd of doomsday preppers racing across the aisles, frantically filling their carts with newly restocked goods?
Ever since this whole thing started, shopping for groceries has turned into an extremely daunting experience. Financial budgeting aside, the added stress and anxiety of walking around a crowded market where goods are potentially contaminated by someone’s saliva droplets can really take a toll on one’s psyche. These days, there’s no such thing as being too sure. Going the extra mile and taking extra precautions could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Here’s a few things you can do to make sure you’re staying safe!
Get someone else to do it.
First off, if you’re above 60 or if you’re someone with a compromised immune system, this isn’t something you should even be considering. But if you’re left with absolutely no other choice but to do it yourself, it would be best to get online and check for supermarkets that offer a short window of time for immunocompromised individuals to shop to lessen the risk of spreading the disease.
Use disposable containers.
Going green has been a main theme coming into 2019 and it’s really changed a lot of people’s lives when it comes to ditching single-use plastics and making the switch to reusable eco-bags and other containers. However, in the case of a global pandemic, reusable bags aren’t the best ones to go for UNLESS you remember to wash and decontaminate them after use. If you’re looking for a quick fix, paper bags would be a better idea.
Your goal is to keep risk levels at a minimum. Bringing your housemates along with you won’t help the supermarkets be less crowded. Going alone could also mean using less resources while outside your safe zone – minimized hand sanitizer use, less people to look out for and reduced chances of actually getting contaminated because there’s not a lot of people around.
Before you leave for the supermarket, it’s important to have a plan of action. A shopping list is an absolute no-brainer, but plotting out your movements within the market is also important to limit contact with other people. It’s also useful to know where the items on your list are located so you don’t spend too much time in the chaos. You slip in, get what you need, and slip out. Treat it like a spec ops mission.
Wear a mask and gloves if you can. Sanitize the shopping cart handles and make sure to separate wet goods from the dry ones. Keep away from areas where people are most likely to crowd at and avoid using items like tongs and spatulas when picking out food. Go for pre-packaged food instead.
Sanitize when you get home.
Ditch your outside clothes, take a bath or at least wash your hands thoroughly, and don’t forget to wash the fruits and vegetables you got from the market with soapy water and a soft vegetable brush. You might want to wash and/or wipe down canned goods and other sealed products as well just to be on the safe side.