Australian’s across the country are self-isolating in order to reduce the number of Coronavirus cases. Yet, every Australian still needs to stock up on supplies at the shop.
The Coronavirus stays active on surfaces and could stay active for over 72 hours on things like plastic. A recent study of the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, the source of many infections off the coast of Japan over a month ago, found that the virus survived for up to 17 days after passengers left the boat.
With the virus staying active on surfaces for so long, it’s important to understand how to protect yourself and your family from anything you may pick up while out and about.
So, below we’ve got 10 top tips to stay safe and avoid Coronavirus while shopping.
Steer Clear of Other People
The biggest thing to be concerned about when you’re at the shop is other people. Person to person transmission is still the #1 way that the Coronavirus is transmitted.
Social distancing rules ask that Australians keep 1.5-metre distance between one another. However, when you’re out at the shops this isn’t always possible.
Consider going to the shop at odd hours, using the self-checkout, and doing whatever you can to keep your distance from other people when you’re standing in or walking around doing your shopping.
Avoid Touching Surfaces With Your Hands
Use your elbows, knees, knuckles, feet, anything but your hands to push open public doors or push buttons when possible.
Use your knuckles instead of your fingers to enter your code into the ATM machine. Push open a door with your shoulder or hip. Flip on light switches with your elbows.
If you must use your hands, as is necessary in most stores since you’re picking up smaller objects, consider covering your hands with clothing and wash your clothes when you get home. Or even pick up items like produce with a plastic bag covering your hand.
Avoid Using Your Phone In Public
We’ve all gotten so used to using our phones. Whether it’s for the grocery list, to message our partner to see if we’re picking up the right brand of toothpaste or to check for news updates when in line at the shops.
Whenever you touch your phone with unwashed hands you’re transferring whatever you’ve touched to your phone. And those germs can stay active for a long time.
So keep your phone in your pocket or purse. Put grocery lists on paper. Don’t give in to the urge to constantly check in on what’s going on in the world.
If you have to touch your phone while out and about consider wiping it down with alcohol when you get home before putting it down on your counter or table. This way you won’t transfer those germs elsewhere.
Be Mindful of Trolleys and Baskets
The handle of a trolley or shopping basket is a breeding ground for germs. On an average day, a trolley has 138,000 bacteria per square inch. Now, in the age of Coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to be mindful the potential germs lying in wait on your trolley.
But not every shop is that considerate. And many stores are not cleaning trolleys and baskets at all.
Consider bringing a cloth to cover the shopping cart handle while you’re shopping to minimize contact between your hands and the trolley. Or use your shopping bag to cover the handle while at the store.
Don’t Touch Produce With Bare Hands and Wash Thoroughly
Although there’s no current evidence that the Coronavirus is passed through food, it may still be present on food surfaces. This is especially the case for things consumed raw, like fruit and vegetables that is not cooked.
Therefore, it’s especially important to handle produce at the store with care and to wash it thoroughly when you get home.
You may not be the only one who has touched that produce. So consider this when touching it or eating it later.
Grab produce with a bag over your hand when you’re at the store. And cook produce once you get home. You can also skin it or wash it with hot soapy water to ensure all germs are removed from the surface before it’s eaten.
Use Hand Sanitizer Before You Touch Your Car After Leaving
It only takes a few seconds to use hand sanitizer before you enter your car. But it can save you a huge headache later. If you do you’ll stop from transferring any germs on your hands to your steering wheel or the other surfaces of your car. That way you can avoid picking them up again next time you drive.
Wash Everything When You Get Home
Wash your hands the moment you are able to. Be sure to use good hand washing techniques and wash up to your elbows like you see surgeons do on television.
Also wash any body parts you may have used to touch surfaces while you were out, like elbows, knees, or knuckles.
Wash anything you used while out of the house. This includes grocery bags and any cloth you may have used to hold onto the trolley handle. Reusable bags can easily be tossed into the laundry.
Wash any clothing you may have used to touch surfaces in the store.
Before putting your groceries away, wash all of your fruit and vegetables when you get home.
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
You’re inevitably going to end up touching something while out getting supplies.
So be mindful of touching your face with hands that are unwashed.
The Coronavirus is likely spread through contact with mucus membranes. This includes your eyes, nose, and mouth. So avoid touching these at all costs.
Stop Using Cash
While most transmission of the Coronavirus is from one person to another. Cash, which may be touched by many people in a single day, could be a source of germs that many people overlook. Opt instead for using a card. And consider sanitizing these cards when you get home.
Give Items A Time-Out
Soap and water, disinfectant, or very hot temperatures will kill the virus. But if you’re unable or unsure how to apply these to a certain item, like a purse someone coughed on at the shop, then put it away for 3 weeks so that the virus can die on its own and not transmit to anything else.
Best Ways To Help Avoid Coronavirus While Shopping:
- Steer Clear of Other People
Person-to-person contact is the #1 way of spreading Coronavirus.
- Avoid Touching Surfaces With Your Hands
Use your elbows, knees, and hips as much as possible.
- Avoid Using Your Phone In Public
Your phone is one of the biggest breeding grounds for bacteria.
- Be Mindful of Trolleys and Baskets
The trolley at the shop as 138,000 germs on it without taking the Coronavirus into account.
- Don’t Touch Produce With Bare Hands and Wash Thoroughly
You can easily spread germs onto fruit and vegetables with dirty hands. And you don’t know who else has touched it.
- Use Hand Sanitizer Before You Touch Your Car After Leaving
Avoid transferring the germs from the store to your car.
- Wash Everything When You Get Home
Wash your hands, your shopping bags, and your produce right when you get home.
- Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
If you’re going to catch the Coronavirus it will be through the mucus membranes on your face. Avoid touching it to help stop the spread.
- Stop Using Cash
Use cards whenever possible to minimise contact with cash.
- Give Items A Time-Out
If you don’t know how to clean it, tuck it away for a few weeks and give the germs time to die off.