As knowledge of COVID-19 evolves, we have a better understanding of how to slow the spread of the virus within communities. Social distancing and self-quarantine are some of the best measures you can take to ensure that you do your part to not inadvertently spread the virus to more vulnerable populations. And while many cities and states are limiting business hours and issuing ‘stay-at-home’ orders for residents, there may be moments when you need to go out and pick something up—whether groceries or prescriptions, or some other essential item. Here’s our guidance on how to run errands while remaining safe and responsible.
Strategize and buy sustainable quantities
The best thing you can do is stay inside, so make sure you’re going to the store because you need to, not because you’re feeling bored or anxious.
If you need to go, first take careful note of what you have at home so you know exactly what you need. Then make it worth your while by buying products in amounts that can sustain you and your household for a couple of weeks—this way, you won’t have to shop again for a while. Just make sure to only purchase what you really need, especially when it comes to more popular items (like toilet paper), so you can leave some for others who may be running out.
If you need to shop, be as clean as possible
Bring along hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes so you can feel confident that the surfaces you touch are germ-free before and after you touch them. This may feel like an intense reaction but it will help you feel confident that you’re protecting yourself and others to the best of your ability.
Gloves only work if you swap them out
It may surprise you that experts don’t recommend you wear latex gloves as a method to stop COVID-19 transmission in public spaces. This is because it’s easy for us to get germs on our gloves and forget to switch them out. If you do wear gloves, be even more cognizant than usual about touching your face—you need to remove the gloves before doing so.
Be mindful of your cellphone
This is a general rule of thumb for lowering the likelihood of transmitting COVID-19—keep your phone clean and use it less frequently. These days we use our phones for practically everything, but that means we’re constantly touching them to surfaces and our faces. If you need to go to the store, try an old-school paper shopping list instead of keeping track on your phone, and don’t take your phone out while you’re at the store. This is the best way to ensure you’re not carrying any germs from the store to your home.
With these tips, you can grocery shop the smart and safe way. If you’re participating in self-quarantine or social distancing, you’re already doing a huge service to your neighbors and loved ones while we work to slow the spread of COVID-19. When you hold yourself accountable to safe habits while shopping, you’re taking an extra step to keep you and your community healthy.