Shopping at the supermarket is the easiest way to get necessities for your family. However, the COVID-19 global pandemic has changed how the world works, and grocers are not exempt from this development.
Fortunately, business operations have resumed, and regulations are easing a little to allow economies to bounce back from the crippling effect of the pandemic. Some of you may feel thrilled to finally have somewhere else to go besides your own home and backyard after being on lockdown, but others may also feel wary of catching the virus when they head out.
Considering that a vaccine has yet to be developed, the second emotion is only to be expected. It just means that you should not let your guard down just yet.
Of course, viruses aren’t the only enemy. There’s also the potential for theft and untoward incidents that you need to be careful of.
To protect yourself from all threats – both visible and invisible to the naked eye – here are seven safety measures you can implement when going grocery shopping:
Always wear your mask properly
This should already be second nature, considering how the COVID-19 virus is transmitted.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks help prevent viruses from spreading by containing any droplets that may be produced when an infected person coughs, talks, raises their voice, or sneezes.
Use a new one every time you go out to the supermarket and follow the proper wearing of masks, as instructed by the CDC:
- Ensure that your hands are clean before putting your mask on.
- Make sure it covers your mouth and nose, with part of it securely tucked under the chin. It should also fit snugly against the sides of your face.
- Keep yourself comfortable and adjust it if you are having a hard time breathing.
Also, wear your mask when around people who don’t live in the same household.
Maintain social distancing and avoid crowds
Physical distancing is important when you go grocery shopping. Considering that these establishments are usually crowded, you have to maintain your personal bubble.
Keep a safe distance of six feet from other people, from all directions. If you feel like someone is standing too close, politely ask them to move away.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends maintaining at least three feet or one-meter distance from each other to ensure that you don’t breathe in liquid droplets that spray out when other people sneeze, cough, or speak. This can help you avoid of all sorts of diseases, not just the COVID-19.
If possible, stay away from crowds (even the small ones) and shop in a supermarket that operates at 50 percent capacity to give leeway for movement without compromising social distancing protocols.
Keep your hands clean
When you’re at the supermarket, you’re bound to touch a lot of things that other people have handled. To be sure that you don’t spread germs – be it the COVID-19 virus or any other pathogen, always carry a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol and use it to clean your hands.
Whenever you get the chance, always wash your hands with soap, especially after coming home, before and after unpacking the items you bought, and after you cough or sneeze (in case you caught it without a tissue on hand). Don’t forget the 20-second hand-washing rule.
Here’s a tip: When shopping or going out to run errands, think of the virus as if it’s glitter. You don’t want it on your clothes, bags, eyes, nose, and other parts of your body, so you must make sure to wash it away by sanitizing anything it came in contact with.
Choose “contactless” shopping
Want to know how you can avoid catching diseases like the COVID-19 and steer clear of thugs at the same time? Buy groceries online.
Take advantage of contactless shopping services that have emerged since the beginning of the pandemic. This way, you can reduce your exposure to other people.
With contactless shopping, you only need to send a list of your orders to a grocer and pay them beforehand. Once they’re ready, you can pick up your groceries at the store or designated drop-off point.
Keep your phone safe
Besides money and car keys, mobile devices are considered one of the most touched items people use today. This means that they are also excellent breeding places for germs like the COVID-19 virus.
If your phone is something you cannot go anywhere without, don’t forget to include it in the items that need to be sanitized when you arrive home.
Besides germs breeding on your device, it is also imperative to keep your phone in the same secure place, like a pocket of your bag. This makes it less likely to get, which means you have one less thing to worry about when it comes to protecting your personal information.
Carry your keys as you walk to your car
Besides attackers that cannot be seen by the naked eye, you should also be prepared against those that are hiding in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to pounce.
Shoppers carrying multiple bags are common targets for criminals, so it is good to be prepared.
To be safe from lurking thieves and delinquents, always carry your keys when you walk to your car. This will make it easier for you to get inside the vehicle quickly should an attack occur. You can even use it as a weapon if the need arises.
Plus, it’s good to have a panic button attached to your keychain. If you do, keep your keys easily accessible. You never know when you need to press it.
Be aware of your surroundings
Nothing can catch you unaware if you’re fully aware of your surroundings after a trip to the grocery. While it is easy to get caught up in procuring everything on your grocery list, you should still be mindful of what’s happening around you.
Always trust your instincts. When you feel like something is off or unsafe, and your gut is telling you to head the other way, do so with haste. And don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
Stay Safe, Always
From seeking home delivery services to staying alert as you load up your groceries, these general safety measures should be able to protect you against harm, both seen and unseen. Incorporate them into your routine and stay safe always.
Published by markhourany