Now that the pandemic has fully set in in our communities, here's what you should and shouldn't do when shopping for groceries.
While it is everyone's duty to stay indoors and self-isolate, we do have to leave our homes to shop for groceries. In order to avoid gaps in the supply chain caused by hoarding, it's best to do a weekly shop for the entire household. However, some of us can get a little bit intense when it comes to disinfecting veggies and fruit or wearing homemade personal protective equipment. Others, on the other hand, are taking a laissez-faire approach to things. To strike a balance, there are certain precautions that we should and shouldn't take, NPR reports.
Working at a grocery store you hear some weird shit these days. Example:— Logan (@LdaBear55) April 8, 2020
Customer: So I should wash my veggies in some bleach right?
Yes, it is possible to contract the Coronavirus through objects and surfaces. It is, nonetheless, easier to contract the virus through droplets from coughs and sneezes. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said, "While it is possible to contract the virus [from contaminated surfaces], the majority of transmission is probably going to be from respiratory droplets, which you're exposed to when you're around other people." Therefore, pay attention to the rules of social distancing and pay attention to your surroundings.
Just like with any other shopping trip, make a list prior to heading out. Then, try and visit a supermarket that you regularly visit so it's easy and quick to navigate the store. "Be as efficient as possible in the store," food microbiologist and Rutgers University professor Donald Schaffner advised. "Have a list. Move through the store quickly and efficiently. Get out of the way. Be respectful of other people. Maintain social distance while you're in the store."
Let's be clear, this is a public health crisis. That means that we can't solve any of these problems in solitude. Nevertheless, taking the whole family out for a grocery shopping trip is not the best idea. Not only will this crowd the aisles making it difficult for everyone else to shop, but it will also increase the chances of transmission within a household. You could double or triple your chances of infection depending on how many people are there in your household, according to Dr. David Aronoff, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He shared, "If you have three people living together and all three people go to the store, even if all three people have a low risk of getting infected at an individual level, as a group they've tripled their risk, essentially."
Now, when it comes to cleaning the produce you get from the supermarket, you may be convinced that you need special disinfecting wipes or washes. That isn't the case. At present, there really isn't any evidence to suggest that fresh fruit and veggies can transmit the virus. The best practice is to simply rinse your groceries using plain water. Let's not forget that fresh fruit and veg offer valuable nutrients that are super important for your health and immunity during this challenging time.