Guidelines for Grocery Shopping During COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that we minimize our exposure to COVID-19. This means staying at home as much as possible. Restaurants, schools, daycare centers are closed. Even department stores and malls are closed. But, grocery stores are still open as well as other essential businesses like gas stations. So, how can we be safe while grocery shopping during COVID-19? Here are a few guidelines that you might find helpful.
Wear a face mask
Cover your face with a cloth covering. A cloth facemask, even if it is not a medical-grade mask, will give some protection if someone sneezes or coughs near you. This can be something like a neckerchief or bandana.
You know those things that the cowboys wore in the westerns to protect their face during a sandstorm and the bandits wore?
If you are lucky like me, you might have a neighbor that makes facemasks and gives them away. I went to Walmart today to purchase some fabric for her, and there was hardly any fabric left on the shelf. Check out the YouTube DIY tutorials on creating facemasks. I bought a cheap men’s T-shirt today to make one that does not require sewing.
Wearing gloves helps protect you if you touch something that someone with the virus has touched. I found my gloves in the paint section of Walmart. You could also find them at hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Make a list before you go so you can limit your time at the grocery store. I have a notepad on my refrigerator. During the week, I write down things that I need. This way, I only have to shop once a week.
Leave the kids home
I don’t recommend taking the kids shopping with you. Kids love to touch everything and wander up and down the aisles. Try and find a family member who can stay with them to limit their exposure.
Putting groceries in the car
I separate my groceries into two sections. One section is for those that require refrigeration when I get home and the other for those that can stay in the car for 3-72 hours. The virus will degrade within three hours on cardboard/paper and up to 72 hours on plastic.
Remember to take off your gloves when you place your shopping cart in the corral. Most places will have a trash can nearby. Turn gloves inside out as you take them off. If there is no place to dispose of them, you won’t be contaminating yourself when they are inside out. I have a small trash can in the car that I will use if there is nothing in the parking lot.
If you are lucky enough to have hand sanitizer use it once you get in the car, it is essential if you didn’t wear gloves.
Putting groceries away
When I get home, I take all the refrigerator items in the house. You can wipe each item with a disinfecting wipe before you put it in the refrigerator. Rinse your vegetables for a minute or two under running water. This will remove any dirt and other things. DON’T use soap. It can leave a bad taste and make you sick. Dry the vegetables before putting them in the refrigerator.
If you need to bring in the non-refrigerator items before 3-72 hours, be sure and wipe them down with a disinfecting wipe and let air dry before putting them in the cabinet.
Cloth grocery bags
Put the cloth grocery bags in the washer so they are ready for your next shopping trip.
It is nice to get out of the house at least once a week, even if it is only to do grocery shopping during COVID-19. As you can see from the map below, COVID-19 is impacting the whole world. Keeping safe is not something that we should take lightly. When leaving the house, make sure you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
Plastic grocery bags
Worldwide impact | True Covid-19 Data
CDC and other news sites have maps showing statistics of the impact on different countries. However, there is one site that shows data worldwide. You can view data in different formats and charts. You can also select a particular country to see the latest statistics for that country.
Featured Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels