The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted much of everyday live in Singapore and pretty much everywhere abroad too. As scary as it sounds, practicing covid-19 Safe Grocery Shopping by protecting yourself is not as difficult as it seems. Especially if you need to head outside for essentials such as groceries. So how can you keep yourself safe? Here are some recommendations.
Should I shop for groceries in-store or online?
If you can afford to, it would be recommended to shop online, as it reduces or even eliminates the possibly of meeting someone with the virus. Moreover, the COVID-19 situation had also fast forwarded the digitalisation of brick and mortar stores, who embraced the transition which would had not otherwise be without the crisis. Hence, it’s best to order food or groceries online.
Additionally, while your concerns about contracting the virus from the other people physically in the store, you can also contract the virus indirectly from the air or on surfaces.
Moreover, it had been shown that it is possible for an infected person spreading cough droplets contaminating air and surfaces they touch. This is also as the virus had been shown to live and survive on common surfaces. It can be as long as two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Amazingly, it can stay dormant up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to four hours on copper. That’s a thought!
Hence, delivery services dramatically reduce your contact with external persons. You can also opt for contact-less delivery, where packaged items, food or parcels can be left outside your door without physical handling.
How to protect yourself in a store?
So if you really need to go to a store or say there are no online option, what are the best ways to safely touch things in the store? Wear a mask or if you are really paranoid, gloves to handle common touch surfaces.
Moreover, it not recommended to leave your house if you’re sick, even if you must, as per WHO recommendations, you should wear a mask to stop the spread of infectious droplets to others. Also, wearing a mask catches viral droplets coming from your mouth or nose, hence, helping the stop the spread of the virus. Also, wearing a mask in public will protect you from infection.
Avoid grocery store peak periods
Experts recommend minimize your contact duration with other people as much as possible. Moreover, several stores in Singapore have introduced extended shopping hours in hope to spread shopping crowds out throughout the day. Also, this includes setting aside certain hours just for high-risk individuals, such as senior citizens or vulnerable people with weaker immune systems.
How can you pay safely?
Furthermore, a recommended method of protection is to avoid contact payment and use contact-less payments as far as possible. Hence, go cashless as far as you can. Examples includes Visa Paywave, NETS flashpay to payment providers such as Singtel Dash, Favepay, Grabpay, Google or Apple Pay. Here you just tap your phone, is a good option because you don’t have to exchange your credit card or handle cash where there is physical contact between people.
Clean off your groceries at home
Also, in addition to cleaning off high-use surfaces like your personal phone. Cleaning off your groceries after returning home is a good way to reduce your risk. Furthermore, as virus could survive on surfaces, there is a risk the virus could end up on something you buy.
How often should you go grocery shopping?
The recommendation is to go grocery shopping as infrequently as possible, once a week is a good gauge. But of course go often enough without having to result in shortage of daily necessities. But also not often enough that resorting to the extreme of hoarding behavior. There is plenty of food in storage facilities. Singapore keeps a stockpile of food and provisions which can last the entire countries for months at a go. Hence, hoarding is really unnecessary. It also risks depriving supplies from people who really need them.
But in general, try to stay home as much as possible. The benefit is that it will not only reduce your risk of exposure, but also protects people in the store.