Remember when grocery shopping was a boring chore and you couldn’t wait to leave the store? Actually, I enjoy strolling the aisles, searching for sales and new products, but grocery store shopping has changed. People still can’t wait to leave the stores, but for different reasons. Due to new government policies we are required to wear masks and there are limits to the amount of people in the store at a given time. Many feel anxious and wonder if it’s safe to shop or if they could potentially contract the virus from food they buy.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no evidence that coronavirus can be transferred through food. Read more about how the virus is transmitted at the CDC.
Grocery stores are also taking safety precautions. Many provide hand sanitizers at the door (I recommend using them when you enter and leave the store), disinfect their carts and other frequently touched surfaces, limit the number of people in the store at one time and mark floors to encourage social distancing.
The biggest risk in grocery stores is coming into close contact with another person who’s sick. Following these tips to reduce your risk.
- Wear a mask. Covering your nose and mouth decreases the risk of getting the virus. Don’t have one? Use a scarf or check out the Good Housekeeping video to learn how to make one using a bandana and coffee filter.
- Avoid crowds. Shopping weekdays in the late afternoons and evenings seem to be less crowded than weekends. Many stores are opening their doors early for elderly people only, so check store hours before heading out.
- Social Distance. Stay at least 6 feet from other people at all times. Don’t be afraid to ask others to step back if they are too close to you in line.
- Make a list before you go. This minimizes time spent in the store.
Demand for online grocery deliveries is high and could take a week or more to get your delivery. Here are some tips that can help you get groceries delivered at your doorstep.
- Explore store options. Big companies like Amazon and Walmart offer grocery delivery, however check if smaller grocers or corners stores in your area also deliver. Wait time may be less.
- Try the Instacart App. This app lets you shop from local grocery stores online, then sends a “personal shopper” to shop and deliver your order.
- Can’t get a delivery slot? Load up your cart and keep refreshing your browser until one becomes available. Also try shopping at midnight when more time slots for delivery open up.
- Delivery Services. Check if Nextdoor, a local social networking service is available in your neighborhood. Many people shop for their neighbors who can’t easily get to the store. Local Rotary Clubs may also offer free food and delivery for populations who have difficulty getting out.
- Contactless delivery. Regardless of who delivers, you can eliminate contact with one more person by asking them to leave the groceries outside your door.
A final lighthearted thought. People have been stockpiling the elusive toilet paper since this health crisis began. But how much do we really need? Use this Toilet Paper Calculator to determine your average daily usage. You may discover you need less than you thought.