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Now, that we are all well into the COVID-19 quarantine, there are a few topics that we need to be reminded of. First of all, I hope that everyone is doing well. Staying safe is all of our number one priority right now, especially Coronavirus Grocery Shopping.
I know we are all feeling a little cabin fever (I know I am) but for now it is still the only way to stay safe. So I still will implore my readers to stay indoors and remember to keep your distance if you must go out.
One of the main reasons we need to leave our houses is what I want to discuss today: grocery shopping. Even in the midst of quarantine there is a need to eat and replenish household items. And even though this isn’t food safety per se, it is still close enough to warrant talking about. So today, while we have a few minutes I wanted to go ever a few rules we all need to be using to keep us safe.
Before our lives were turned inside out, having a grocery list and car keys were the only preparation we needed. Now, before we even walk out the door, there are a few things we need to do and consider. I liken it to a battle plan, which makes my wife laugh; but without a plan things can go terribly wrong. This is what works for us.
The list. My wife is a stickler for having her list in order of how the store is laid out. Now that getting in and out is at a premium I can see her reasoning. Getting everything you need, standing in the checkout line, and realizing you need something from the back of the store only keeps you exposed longer. Have a plan of attack.
What we take is more important now than it has ever been. I bet most of us never thought we would see the day when going out of the house required a mask. I’ve been around for a while now and I never thought I would. Taking a cloth mask and wearing it once you get out of your car is not only a good idea but essential. And while a mask does not keep you 100% safe, when we use all of these safety tips in conjunction, we increase our chances of not contracting the virus we are staying home for.
The last but certainly not least method of preparation before leaving the house: look in your purse or pocket … is there a bottle of sanitizer in there? If not, you are not ready to venture out to the grocery store. Even though early on there was a shortage, you can find hand sanitizer pretty much anywhere. It is important to not only use this on your hands before you go our but during and after as well.
Stores in my area took a little longer to get on board but now there is either a limit to the number of people that can be in the store at one time or one-way isles, and lanes to direct the flow of people.
We all have heard the word social distancing but are we practicing it? Social distancing is defined as: a set of actions taken to stop or slow the spread of a highly contagious disease. The goal of social distancing is to limit face-to-face contact to decrease the spread of illness among people in community settings. (source)
Most of us are taught to stay away from strangers so during this tough time that is the easy part. But what about running into a friend at the grocery store? Yup, you need to keep the 6-foot rule in the front of your mind here as well. It’s hard but necessary, for both of you.
The last point is one I have already mentioned but want to say again: use your hand sanitizer on everything you will touch.
I have spoken at great lengths about washing your hands in the past but I believe it is more important now than ever. I want us to go over the proper way to wash our hands then take it a step further.
Correct hand washing consists of:
Simple right? It’s the practice that isn’t so simple. Now more than ever we need to make this practice many more times a day than we usually do.
During the COVID-19 quarantine, we need to take this a step farther after we shop for groceries. We need to take the time to wash nonporous containers once we get them home. It is still unclear but most scientists believe a virus cannot live after a while on a non-living surface.
Until we fully understand this virus and how long it lives, it is a good practice to wash what you bring home from the grocery store. This also includes fruits and vegetables; which you should be doing anyway.
Pro Tip: I want everyone to read this information from the CDC. Pay attention to the “getting gasoline” section. This is something I did not consider. Take a minute and think of a few other obscure areas you need to avoid touching right now.
During these trying times, I hope that each one of you is taking every precaution to keep safe. I firmly believe if we each do our part to take care of ourselves, this is turn will take care of our fellow man.
While I have your attention still, I wanted to admonish each one of us to keep staying inside until all is clear. Once the virus is under control, get outside and enjoy those you have been staying away form. But until that time, staying inside is not only caring for you but those you know and love.
By: Dwight Spencer