Surviving Your Next Trip To The Grocery Store
Times are changed, and things are crazier than any other time that I can remember. I can honestly say that I have never been nervous about going to the grocery store. I have never had second thoughts about running out to Publix or Walmart to pick up some milk or eggs.
But that is no longer true. I have found that I get anxious every time I go to the grocery store, and our family has put a strict limitation on how often we visit the store. Instead of going several times a week on a small run, I have been going once every other week.
Like many Americans, we are doing everything we can to reduce the amount of time we spend around other people in public areas. Not only has the CDC recommended social distancing, but our state (Florida) is also currently under shelter-in-place across the state
Increased Risk Of Grocery Shopping
The CDC has said that the primary way the coronavirus spreads is through person-to-person contact. While it is possible to contract the virus by touching surfaces with the virus, the most likely way that health experts say we will transmit the virus is by speaking with other people or sneezing and coughing in public areas.
While most businesses are shut down in most states, essential businesses are still up and running.
1. Stay 6 Feet From Other People Whenever Possible
Many stores are taking measures to help reduce the spread of the virus by implementing strict limits on the number of people allowed to enter the store at a given time. Some stores in different parts of the country have markers on the floor that indicate where shoppers should stand to be at least 6 feet away from each other while checking out.
While you can keep 6 feet away from other people, the risk of contracting the virus is constantly in the back of my mind as I walk down the aisles to choose the food our family needs. This is why I have started going to the store late at night or early morning, depending on the store’s hours of operation.
2. Make A List Before Going To The Store
It’s always a good idea to make a shopping list before heading out to the grocery store, but now planning ahead could actually help prevent the spread of the virus. We always make a list before food shopping, but in the past, I would head out to the store and walk around looking at other items as the thought popped into my head.
Limiting the amount of time that you are in the grocery store will reduce your exposure to particulates in the air. Not only will you limit the number of contaminants that you inhale, but you will also reduce the number of particles you exhale in the public area.
Making a shopping list is pretty easy, and it can help you save money at the store while also limiting the amount of time you spend in the grocery store. Both of these reasons make putting together a shopping list a great way to stay safe when grocery shopping.
3. Wear A Cloth Face Mask At The Store
The CDC has recommended that all Americans wear a cloth face covering when going into a public area where social distancing is challenging to maintain. Items like cloth face masks help limit the number of contaminants that you inhale while also limiting the number of particles that you exhale in public areas.
Both of these factors make cloth face masks with proper filter materials one of the best ways to protect yourself at the grocery store.
Coronavirus is spread when infected droplets make their way into a person’s mouth, nose, and eyes. These droplets have the ability to spread across long distances, and a cloth face mask is an effective way to limit how many droplets are floating in crowded areas.
4. Reduce Your Use Of Cash At Checkout
Everyone knows that cash is pretty dirty as-is, but the cleanliness (or lack thereof) is especially important. Everything you do at the grocery store should be aimed at limiting your interaction with other people while also limiting contact with surfaces that could be contaminated.
Instead of using cash, you should use a credit card or debit card. Be sure to wash your hands after you leave and disinfect your card when you get home.
The best payment option is to use contactless options like Apple Pay, while also using a self-checkout station at the store.
5. Limit How Often You Take Trips To The Store
It’s one thing to go to the store if you are running low on staples like bread, milk, or eggs. However, it’s another thing to go to the store to pick up small items like spices.
The best option to protect yourself is to limit the amount of time you spend out in public areas where social distancing can’t be maintained. Be sure to check through your cabinets to find food items that you can use for your meals instead of going out to buy small items.
Look at it as a great time to experiment with different items for your meals. Test how different ingredients taste and be creative!
Protect Yourself & Stay Health At The Grocery Store
Times are changed, and our country (and the world) is facing a pandemic like never since the Spanish Flu. The difference between a past pandemic and what we are experiencing today is that our society has changed so much since past situations.
Instead of rural communities, most of the U.S. population is located in close proximity to each other. We rely on grocery stores and other department stores to provide us with everyday essentials.
You can use the above tips to keep you and your family safe throughout the coronavirus pandemic whenever you have to take a trip to the grocery store. Stay safe whenever you go outside and follow the above tips to reduce the stress and anxiety that most Americans feel when visiting the food store!