How to safely shop during Covid-19

Courtney Huck talks us through her top tips for staying safe in the supermarkets amidst Covid-19...

Courtney Huck
17th April 2020
Gone are the days when going to the grocery store was a mundane activity. Now, going shopping for your next meal can feel like one of the most stressful and adventurous parts of your day.

Fortunately there are many simple steps you can take to limit your chances of catching the coronavirus while you’re at the store. 

Go To The Store Early:

Heading to the store early in the morning will allow you to miss the crowds. The less people you have to interact with while you’re shopping, the better.

Being at the store early in the morning might also provide you with more options of food or cleaning supplies. Most grocery stores stock up over night, so you’ll have the greatest chance of getting what you’re looking for early in the morning. 

Wear a mask:

New guidelines and research are suggesting that anytime you go into a public space, you should be wearing a mask to limit your chances of getting sick with Covid-19. Since official surgical masks can be hard to find and are in limited supply for medical personnel, many governments are suggesting that you create a cloth mask at home. 

While there is still ongoing research to determine how beneficial cloth masks are for blocking out the coronavirus, studies have shown cloth masks will limit your chances of spreading the virus if you’re infected but are currently asymptomatic. 

Wearing a mask also has the added benefit of discouraging you from touching your face – especially your nose. Your chances of contracting the virus decrease significantly if you don’t touch your face at all. 

Wash Your Hands:

Yes, yes, yes- while this bit of advice is probably starting to sound like a broken record, it’s absolutely true. Washing your hands for 20 seconds or more with warm water and soap is one of the few surefire ways to kill the virus at the moment.

Keep Your Distance:

Never before has being “standoff-ish” been so important. Be sure to keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and other shoppers. This lessens your chances of becoming infected and also cuts down on the risk of you infecting someone else if you’re currently infected with COVID-19 but are unaware of it. 

Wear Gloves- Correctly:

If you happen to have plastic gloves at home, consider wearing them to the store. If you lack plastic gloves, you can wear cloth gloves as an alternative.

However, the most important thing with wearing gloves is to make sure that you follow all of the same precautions as before. Gloves do not kill the virus and the virus can still live on the surface of your gloves like they would on any other object. 

When you’re wearing your gloves avoid touching your phone or your face. After you leave the store, clean off whatever credit or debit card you paid with and wipe down your phone.

If you were wearing plastic gloves throw them away and if you were wearing cloth gloves put them into the wash. 

Clean Your Grocery Cart:

If you’re someone who has cleaning wipes to spare, wipe down your grocery cart or basket before you touch it. Although many grocery stores have increased their cleaning measures, one extra swipe of a cleaning rag certainly won’t do any harm. 

Ladies, when you’re going shopping now would be the time to use a cross-body purse. While many grocery stores are wiping down the handles of carts, it isn’t clear if all of them are also wiping down the area of the cart where you’d be most likely to set your purse. Using a cross-body purse will keep you from placing your purse on anything that another person has already touched.

Wipe Down Your Groceries:

As soon as you get home, you should wipe down your groceries with a cleanser. New research has shown that the coronavirus can live on plastics for three days and cardboard for 24 hours.

While many experts say that the chances of you catching the virus from picking up your favourite pasta sauce are extremely low, it might help ease some of your concerns if you wipe down all of your items.

Change Into A New Outfit When you Get Home:

A small number of health experts are now advising shoppers to change out of their outfits that they wore to the store and wash them as soon as they get home. Researchers are still attempting to determine exactly how long the virus can live on textiles, but they suspect it could be several hours at least. 

Some medical experts are also advising to wipe down your coat once you return home and to leave your shoes at the door. It’s possible for respiratory droplets to land on your shoes and then be on your hands the next time you touch them. 

All of these tips are simple precautions to help you keep your peace of mind when you need to venture out to go grocery shopping. While we’re living in crazy times, following these tips could greatly reduce the possibility of you getting sick.

Featured image: Martijn Baudoin on Unsplash

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