In the majority of cases, shopping for groceries is the time when we are in contact with the greatest number of people who are affected by the outbreak. The more people that we meet more people, the greater the chance of spreading the virus. So, how can we ensure that we are safe when shopping?
In order to contract the disease, one must be exposed to a certain amount of particles of viruses, and we aren’t sure precisely what the number is for SARS-CoV-2. This is the virus which creates COVID-19. It is possible to become affected through breathing in it or by touching something that has viral particles and then transferring it into your nose, mouth or eyes.
When an infected person coughs, they produce lots of droplets which range in size. Bigger droplets will settle onto surfaces more quickly because of their higher mass. However, smaller droplets will be transported further away from the infected person because their lower mass makes them more easily carried by air currents. The bigger drops carry more virus particles. And the more virus particles you are exposed to, the more likely you are to become infected. This is where the two-metre rule for social distancing comes from: the bigger droplets should not travel beyond two metres.
The larger droplets can fall onto surfaces, and people who are infected by COVID-19 can contaminate surfaces that are infected with the virus when they touch them. Coronavirus is also able to be able to survive on various substances for a period of period of time. It could survive for a day on cardboard and for three days on stainless steel.
However, the virus is easy to eliminate. Alcohol, bleach, detergents and certain disinfectants have been proven as effective in killing coronaviruses..
The most likely surfaces to be infected with the surface are those frequently touched by many people. In a retail establishment, areas like the trolley or basket handles or chips and pins or even the self-checkout machine will likely to contain the most virus particles.
There are many ways to ensure your safety throughout – and even after – your shopping excursion.
Stay home if you can
Make plans ahead so that you don’t have to head to the shops frequently – and consider delivery at home if it’s possible. If you’re using them, put on your masks or gloves before heading to the store. Cleanse the surface with a wipe when you bring them or the ones available in the store to clean the handle of the basket or trolley before you get it. While waiting, maintain the distance to two meters from any other person.
Wipe the handle of the basket and trolley if you are able to. Cool picture/ Shutterstock
You should spend as little time in the store as possible
Try to keep your hands off as few items as you can, and try to not spend too much time in the aisles, particularly the ones that are busy. Stay away from people, and don’t touch your face. It’s acceptable to ask for help when you need it; however, try to avoid contact with people whenever possible.
Limit contact to at a minimum
Self-checkouts and tills have seen a lot of people touching them, and they are hotspots for viruses to stay clear of. Pay with contactless phone or card as much as you can so that you don’t need to touch the keypad of the machine.
Wash your hands thoroughly
After you have finished your shopping and left the store, take off your gloves and discard the gloves if you wore gloves. If not, you can clean your hands in the toilets at the store or use hand soap that contains between 60 and 85 percent alcohol. After that, you can put the items into your car and then drive to home.
Once you’re at home, make sure you wash your hands a bath before you take the items out of their packaging. It is possible to remove the outer packaging from certain products then dispose of the packaging but it’s not likely that the surface of items will be contaminated with enough virus to trigger an infection.
Put everything away into the fridge, freezer, or cupboards, and then wash your hands again. If you used your own bags, put these somewhere out of the way, ready for the next trip. If you used your phone while out shopping, give it a clean as well.
The preparation of foods
Cooking and freezing can help in the elimination of the virus, though there’s currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 could be transmitted through food items in particular. Always practice excellent food hygiene and ensure that you cook all food items according to the recipe. Be sure to wash fresh vegetables and fruits thoroughly in water, especially in the case of eating raw.
Understanding how the virus gets spread can help us determine the risk level we’re likely to face throughout our lives in the protection of a lockdown. It is important to consider the situation prior to time, taking into account the potential risks and benefits to help you make the right choices to ensure that you and your family are protected.