Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus is largely transmitted among people through respiratory droplets that are dispersed when infected individuals cough, sneeze, or even talk. However, there is also a risk of the virus spreading if these droplets land on surfaces and objects that are commonly used or touched by a lot of people. That’s why it is important to take precaution when going out and doing errands such as grocery shopping or withdrawing cash from an ATM.
A big part of the “new normal” during this COVID-19 pandemic are the novel ways we perform such seemingly mundane tasks. Gone are the days of aimlessly and leisurely walking down the aisles, taking our time and checking out every item on the shelves that catches our fancy. These days, it’s best to zip in and out of a store or a supermarket as fast as possible in order to lessen our contact with other people—and by extension, our potential exposure to the virus. Here are some helpful tips for safe grocery shopping during this pandemic.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
If you’ve never been used to making a grocery list, now’s the best time to start and learn. Jotting down the items you need to buy in the supermarket is important to minimize the length of your trip outside your home. Plan what you are going to wear, keeping in mind that you would need to change into a fresh set of clothes as soon as you get back home. Don’t forget your personal protective gear such as a washable antimicrobial face mask. It won’t hurt as well to bring with you some disinfectant spray or wipes, especially since washing your hands in a public bathroom might not be possible all the time.
Wear Additional Protection
It’s a good idea to wear additional protective gear such as gloves since you will be touching a lot of objects and surfaces at the grocery store. Just remember not to touch your eyes or any part of your face afterwards to prevent infection from pathogens that you may have picked up on surfaces. Wearing a fabric hand protector or arm sleeve that you can wear on your wrist and pull down your hand when you need to touch or hold something at the store is a practical and effective option you may want to look into. This way, you can protect your hands without having to use disposable medical gloves. Not only does a fabric hand protector attract less attention, it’s also comfortable to wear and washable, which means it’s also an eco-friendly solution.
Observe Social Distancing and Keep It Quick
Always be mindful to keep your distance from other shoppers in public places such as the supermarket. It may be easy to slip into old habits of squeezing into lines or crowding around shelves. It may also not be worth going into a brawl over a good bargain if this means catching the virus and falling ill. The pandemic is also not a good time to indulge in window shopping or to do lengthy product price comparisons. Go straight to the items that you need and head for the checkout counter as fast as you can.
Now more than ever, contactless payment methods such as those that use QR codes, debit cards, and RFID cards certainly find good use. Medical experts have long expressed concern over the possibility of the COVID-19 virus persisting on physical objects such as money, so it’s prudent to avoid handling and using hard cash when paying for your purchases at the supermarket. There are also a number of apps that allow you to transfer money directly to merchants or point-of-sale systems digitally.
Perhaps, the best way to shop for your daily needs is to do it online. Just visit your favorite e-commerce site, click away to your heart’s content, and have your items delivered right to your doorstep. However, you still need to exercise precautions such as sanitizing the products before placing them in your pantry.
This new way of grocery shopping may take a little bit of getting used to, but you better be ready because it seems that this is the way things will go for many more months—or even years—ahead.