The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2019/2020 will go down as one of the most impactful periods of our lives. The effects of this pandemic will reverberate for years to come as it transforms almost every area of our lives. One of these areas has been grocery shopping. While the pandemic forced many businesses to close, grocery stores remained open to serve the public. Of course, the heavily traveled nature of the grocery store makes it somewhat risky to visit and risky especially for its workers. For this reason, shoppers have been forced to adopt a whole new set of protocols. Here is a look at some of the measures made necessary by COVID-19.

Safe shopping – Keeping our pantries stocked doesn’t mean exposing ourselves to unnecessary hazards. This is why we must ensure we adhere to the highest safety standards while grocery shopping. We can help mitigate this risk by avoiding the grocery during peak times such as on weekends and on payday. Also, it’s important that, while in the store, shoppers adopt much-touted safety measures such as wearing masks and maintaining distance from other shoppers.

Shopping online – Of course, one of the ways that we can avoid the grocery altogether is by utilizing online platforms that offer grocery delivery. In the midst of this pandemic, many grocery stores have now offered online grocery shopping for the first time or are beefing up their previous online shopping efforts. These perks allow us to shop for food in the comfort of our homes, away from potentially infected shoppers. In addition, many stores also offer no-contact delivery.

Go solo – Prior to the pandemic, grocery shopping was an activity the entire family could take part in. However, this is now a pandemic no-no. Not only does a higher number of people at the grocery store increase congestion in the aisles, but more family members visiting stores means a higher chance of someone contracting the virus. Additionally, children complicate matters. Monitoring what they touch and keeping their hands out of their eyes, noses, and mouths is, on its own, a major task. Solo grocery shopping is not only better for all other shoppers, but it greatly reduces your chances of getting sick.

Always sanitize – Scientists have concluded that COVID-19 can live on surfaces for up to 5 days. Thus, taking your items home from the grocery increases the risk of bringing the infection home. To reduce the risks of this happening, shoppers must designate an area in their homes where potentially contaminated items are isolated. Next, it is important for shoppers to sanitize their groceries with disinfecting wipes, a weak solution of chlorine bleach and water, hydrogen peroxide, or another proven disinfectant.

The emergence of COVID-19 has been a stressful time in our lives. Apart from the major inconveniences it has posed, social distancing has separated us from our friends and families. However, there is no reason why this pandemic has to be overwhelming. With some planning and some dedication, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

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