The coronavirus pandemic has forced governments around the globe to lock down cities and public places. International travel is also banned unless there is an emergency or if people have to return to their country. One main problem people are facing is getting a hand on groceries are people are stacking it up. Even if people can find groceries or foods outside, they are worried about the rumors surrounding that they might also have coronavirus on surfaces.
So, how to be safe when picking up foods or groceries?
If you are buying foods or groceries online or from stores, you can follow some simple measures to control the exposure of coronavirus. Below are a few such measures.
Wash Foods and Vegetables
People who go shopping touch fruits or vegetables and may put it back on the shelves. There are high chances that they can have the viruses settled on their surfaces(1). So, it is highly advised to wash them, and you could use salt to make it more effective. Find the below methods to clean different types of greens and vegetables:
- Leafy greens: Take a bowl and fill it with water. Put the vegetables in it, take them out, and jiggle them. Repeat the process for few times to remove any dirt or viruses sitting on them. You can also use water spray. Later, run it under cold water thoroughly.
- Root vegetables: Root vegetables have more dirt on them than other ones. So, scrub them underwater with a scrubber or vegetable brush. Also, use your hands to remove any dirt that’s left on it.
- Soft fruits or vegetables: Soft items such as tomatoes, berries, or ripe fruits or vegetables rinse them in stream water and gently turn them as you do it. Pat them dry with a clean towel.
- Sturdy vegetables: For apples, oranges, cabbages, and other sturdy vegetables rinse and wash them under a powerful stream of water. You can use scrubber or hands to clean the surfaces.
If possible, you can use vegetable cleaning soap. They are highly effective in killing or deactivating coronavirus or any other germs that settle on their surfaces. Buy fresh fruits or vegetables as frozen food may not be adequately sterilized, or getting sick with them can be harmful when living under a lockdown.
Wash Your Containers
Washing your containers with soap is highly effective in getting rid of or deactivating the coronavirus that may be attached to the box. You can use dishwashing soap on any containers like plastic, glass, metals, or ceramic before using it or putting it away. Also, make sure to wash your hands before and after using any containers.
Wash Your Hands After Shopping
If you go out shopping for groceries or other stuff, there are chances that the coronavirus may be alive on them. Carry a sanitizer with you so that you sterilize your hands immediately after touching the counters, shelves, or trollies in the store. Because if you touch the infected surface, it may stick onto your hands and be active even after you go home. Sterilizing your hands immediately can kill the virus and prevent further spread.
Note: Carrying your bags to put groceries or any other items is also another wise choice that you can make. In rare cases, the bags might even have some active viruses surfacing on them. Also, make sure to maintain at least a distance of 1 meter.
If possible, only use credit or debit cards. It can help you in avoiding cash, which other people have used, and also use your pen to sign the bills.
If you’re getting your groceries delivered to the home, ask the delivery person or the company to take precautionary measures. Please do not take the items directly from their hands. Instead, ask them to put them in a basket or leave near the doorstep. Try paying using electronic payment so that you can avoid any cash in return from the delivery agents(2).
Avoid eating outside; even if it is not infected with coronavirus, it may be unhealthy. Falling sick in situations like these can become very complicated, and getting regular check-ups could also be a problem. So, it is better to avoid them.
If you’re eating outside, make sure that the restaurant follows strict hygienic measures. Go to a place that you are more familiar with.
Other Preventive Measures:
Make sure that you cover yourself adequately and use a mask when going out.
Clean or disinfect your home regularly.
- Go out only if needed.
- Follow a healthy diet to avoid any sickness.
The other active measure that everyone must follow is not to overload beyond the need. Because there are people around who are in a similar situation, and your extra load can be their basic need to survive the lockdown(3).
Following necessary precautionary measures play a vital role in living a healthy life. However, under situations like epidemics or outbreaks, we all have to be more careful in every case, either it is shopping or going out, it becomes even more necessary to take extra preventive measures. It not only helps in preventing infections but also any sickness.