With global lockdowns and all of us being home, we must be very vigilant when we step out for those essentials that we need. While it is most advisable to stay home completely, one may need essentials like everyday groceries and medicines for basic sustenance. The first choice is of course to go out, and use online stores if available (although this may also have its own supply chain issues). Many societies are also organizing deliveries to flats or having a vendor come into the society. While these solutions can be used by some, there are certain cases where one has to go out. In these cases, it is important to do what one can to protect oneself. So, what should we do to protect ourselves and others when shopping for essentials?
Precautions While Shopping For Essentials
Make sure you are fully ready and prepared before taking that step out the door.
- Carry your own shopping bags.
- Wear, as far as possible, the same clothes you always do when you go out. As far as possible, wear long trousers/dresses/joggers etc and also wear long sleeved tops.
- Most important, wear your mask, as soon as you step out. Doesn’t have to be the fancy ones, a simple cloth one made at home will do as long as it covers your mouth and nose. Most importantly, make sure the mask is new or clean (has been washed).
- Take gloves, to handle the items you are buying and in case you touch anyone or anything.
- Wear footwear which is comfortable and if possible, washable.
- Try not to carry a purse, either a wallet or loose money/cards in your pocket are the best.
- Pocket sanitizers to use 2-3 times during visit.
- Wash your hands before you go out and when you come back home.
- Try your best not to touch your face with your hands or with gloves while out.
Once you reach your shop/supermarket of choice. You will probably have to wait in line to get in. Please make sure you are at least 5-7 feet away from the person in front and from the person behind. Maintaining this social distancing is necessary. If the shop does not have an organized line up system, think about going to another shop or maintain the distance yourself regardless of whether the shop is maintaining it or not.
If possible and if available, pre-order and pickup, or order at the door and request them to give you the items. If this is not possible, go inside, get what you want and leave as soon as possible. Try your best not to browse and cause crowding. Remember, these are essentials and even this small action from your end can benefit everyone around you.
Once back home, change your clothes immediately and ensure that you keep footwear outside. Wash your hands with soap and if possible take a shower to ensure maximum cleanliness so as to not risk others at home. For items in plastic, tetra packs or carton packaging , wipe them down using normal cleaning detergent with a cloth/sponge. For vegetables, wash them with water. Medicine packets/bottles strips should also be wiped down and sanitized.
We hope these tips help you when you go out shopping for essentials. Are there any specific precautions you’re taking? Let us know in the comments below.
Stay home, stay safe and #BeTheForce