Our 2020 has been a year filled with drastic changes since COVID-19 crept into our lives. One of the most striking COVID-19 related changes is the mandatory stay-at-home initiative by the government. By staying at home, we hopefully reduce the incidence of virus transmission in the country.
Unfortunately, not everyone can always stay at home. We need food, medicines, and other supplies.
So what happens when you need to go out? Experts agree that stocking up for no more than two weeks is better if we want to reduce the spread of virus. But if the two-week wait isn’t applicable to you, here are few things to keep in mind when you have to go out for essentials.
Before You Go Out
Even though NCR is now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), this isn’t a license for everyone in the family to go out for groceries. If at all possible, designate one or two people at a time to run errands (one person is the best option).
If you are the dedicated “alay” of the family, keep the following in mind:
- Put on your mask. The wearing of face masks is mandatory wherever you go. Your mask protects you and others. Although disposable surgical masks are often recommended, you may also use other face coverings, like reusable cloth masks, homemade masks, bandanas, or scarves.
- Make a list of where you have to go. You want to consolidate your needs into one trip with multiple stops. Simplify your travel for essentials by making a list of said stops. If you’ll be buying cold goods, put your grocery shopping last. But based from my experience, the lines at groceries can be a tad crazier as the day progresses. Try to go to out earlier to avoid the long lines.
- List what you need. A shopping list still matters, even during the pandemic. Take an inventory of what’s already in your pantry and plan your meals around these items.
- Arm yourself with alcohol or hand sanitizer. Spritz some on after touching cash especially.
At the Grocery Store
Although we trust that our local groceries disinfect their stores more than often, coronavirus can still live on different surfaces for a number of days. Fortunately, there is currently no evidence that suggests COVID-19 can be transmitted from groceries. Still, it pays to be safe.
Consider the following:
- Stay at home if you’re sick. Have someone else do the groceries.
- Refrain from panic buying. Always stick to your list.
- Limit exposure by considering grocery delivery services or curbside pickup.
- Use disinfectant wipes on baskets, cart handles and other high-touch surfaces. If you have hand sanitizer, this works, too.
- Whether you’ve used alcohol or not, refrain from touching your face.
- Social distancing is a must. Physically distance yourself from others as much as you can while you’re in the store.
- Avoid browsing. Go in, get out, and go home.
- Pay cashless, if you can.
Once you get home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Take a bath, if possible. Also, wash your hands again once you’ve put your groceries away.
No matter where you and what you bring home, safety precautions against COVID-19 are critical. Always wash your hands. Try not to touch your face and disinfect as often as you can.
Here’s to staying safe while doing our groceries!
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Ashley is an awkward potato in love with words, Kpop, and corgis. She spends her free time dancing like one of those balloon things you see in malls.