Whether you’re shopping for yourself or another person, now is when you have to be vigilant. COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has made shopping one of the riskiest things anyone can do. Due to its highly contagious nature, COVID-19 is easily spread as many grocery stores have very limited space.
Because of this, rules have been set in motion that limits the amount of customers in the store and how far they must stay apart. Despite these precautions, shoppers must be attentive at all costs to keep the illness from spreading.
Here is how you can be a more considerate shopper during COVID-19.
The first step to being a more effective shopper is to learn how to properly social distance yourself. Social distancing simply means avoiding other people. The reason why COVID-19 has spread at such an alarming rate was because many people were in close proximity to each other.
So, if you have to go out shopping, make sure that you keep away from any large gatherings. The CDC has recommended everyone remains at least six feet apart when out in public.
Wear a Face Covering
Recently, most states have mandated the use of masks to prevent the illness from spreading further. This is actually one of the best things anyone can do to be a considerate shopper. Although COVID-19 isn’t exactly an airborne illness, it can technically be spread through coughs, sneezes and even talking.
However, people have, unfortunately, taken it upon themselves to hoard masks, which has made it very difficult to acquire one. And with the demand for masks so high, the prices can be out of this world expensive.
But the truth of the matter is that you don’t need to wear the masks you see medical staff wear. N95 masks are useful, but with the rapid increase in cases, doctors and nurses need them the most. This is especially true considering the fact that they’re literally on the front lines of this pandemic. In fact, the CDC has said that something with cloth as its material will be just as effective.
Furthermore, it’s possible to contract the illness without actually experiencing the symptoms. This makes someone a carrier. So, even though the illness might not affect you, you can still carry it around and spread it to other people.
Refrain From Stockpiling
With all the panic and anxiety that COVID-19 is causing, people have been stockpiling more than their fair share of food and supplies. Buying more than what you actually need deprives other people of getting supplies. A pandemic is a cause for alarm indeed, however, some people take it a little too far.
There’s a massive difference between necessary preparation and needlessly hoarding. It is completely unnecessary to stockpile things like multiple gallons of milk, and industrial sized packages of toilet paper. Other people need these things too, so only buy one or two of each.
Think About the Employees
Many store employees have been putting in extra time in their job to ensure that the shelves are always stocked. Similar to medical staff, they’re also putting themselves at great risk, so everyone can live as normal as possible.
When going to the store, always make sure to be kind and courteous to the staff. Make sure to get rid of used masks and gloves properly and only buy what you need. You can do this by creating a shopping list, so you’re in and out.
Clean the Cart You Used
Finally, once you have finished your shopping, don’t forget to clean the cart you were using. Even if you’re wearing gloves, the virus can still linger on them. Just because your hands are protected doesn’t mean the cart is germ-free.
In fact, the CDC has found that the coronavirus is able to remain active on stainless steel objects for up to 72 hours. In some cases, it can even last up to a few days. Before departing the store entirely, take a disinfectant wipe and clean the cart. It only takes a few moments and you’ll be keeping the virus from spreading.
COVID-19 has done more than keep us in quarantine. It has changed the way we live our lives. Even something as innocent has going to the store is changed, and will continue to be changed for an indefinite period of time. However, as we become accustomed to this new way of life, it's important to stay positive. If you and your family have been fortunate enough to stay well during this turbulent period, then having to make a few minor adjustments in the way you live daily life isn't so horrific. In time, this too shall pass.