Although the best way to survive these difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is to stay at home as much as possible, sometimes we have to leave the house. While shopping for food is a part of everyday life, it can be a source of stress for those who fear the virus, but there are measures you can take to reduce the risk in these public places.
The more you are exposed to virus particles, the greater your risk of getting sick. You can get the virus if you breathe in airborne particles or put your hand into your eyes, nose or mouth after touching an infected area.
COVID-19 patients and recovering patients carry these virus particles (people with outbreaks can be divided into super-carriers and super-emitters), but you may not know who is carrying the virus because some people have no symptoms or have mild disease.
You’ll be safe if you keep the recommended distance of two meters. Suppose someone is coughing: Large and infectious particles carrying the virus will fall into nearby places. Only small and less virus-carrying particles can travel.
You may be interested: This simulation shows how a cough spreads particles at the grocery store!
Even if you don’t breathe these more infectious parts, you may be at risk if you touch where they are. High-risk places in a grocery store are the goods on the shelves, shopping carts, baskets, jet safes and pos devices. The SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that causes COVID-19 can live for up to one day in cardboard and up to three days in stainless steel. So even if you are the first person to enter the market that day, you are still at risk from the pathogens you may come into contact with.
However, you will not have to be afraid thanks to the simple precautions you can take while shopping.
How Can We Reduce Covid-19 Risk When Shopping?
Watch your hands
Do not put your hands on your face after touching something at the grocery store. In addition, just tap the items you want to buy to protect yourself and everyone else. If you are going to wear a mask or gloves, do this before entering the market and throw them away when you leave the market.
Surfaces can be dangerous
Cleaning surfaces with disinfectant removes viruses there, so you can have cleaning wipes with you to easily disinfect the arms of shopping carts and baskets. You can use your card instead of cash. In addition, as pos devices and jet safes may be full of virus particles, you can choose contactless payment if possible. If you are going back home by car, clean your hands with a disinfectant containing 60-95% alcohol before touching the steering wheel.
Less shopping means less exposure to people and potentially infected places. Before you go shopping, you can make a shopping list according to the order of your goods on the shelves, so you don’t have to move between the shelves and spend less time indoors. If you buy a lot of food, you can keep them in the freezer. Thus, you prevent food waste. But before buying the product for this, check whether it is suitable for freezing.
When you come home
First of all, wash your hands. The products you buy are less likely to contain viruses, but for your peace of mind, you can remove the product from its package and wipe the products with a disinfectant wipe. As usual, wash your fruits and vegetables with plenty of water, but be careful not to use any cleaning products because Poison Control Centers received 20% more phone calls this year for accidents involving laundry detergent use to clean food.
Understanding how the virus spreads will provide you with the best shield to protect yourself in public places. Not only will you reduce the stress you may be experiencing with small changes in your shopping habits, you will be more protecting both other people and yourself against the virus.