While quarantine restrictions continue to grow tighter, there is one place that is essential and unlikely to be banned from entering: the grocery store. There are necessary safety procedures that have been advised to the public when going out to shop for essentials.
According to second year EMT, Jonathan Garcia, “The best way to prevent sickness is to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain ethanol greater than sixty percent, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and practice social distancing of six feet minimum. But in addition to that, do not touch your eyes or face when out in public and remember that when sneezing and coughing, cover your mouth by using the corner of your elbow or a tissue.”
Garcia sheds some light on the possibility of cross-contamination when wearing gloves at a grocery store.
“Wearing gloves in the grocery store is great but remember to take them off once you go outside, before you load your groceries into your car,” Garcia warns. “Many people will keep the gloves they used inside the grocery store to load the grocery bags into their car. This does not help prevent sickness because all of the germs on your gloves from inside the store is being transferred on to the bags that you will be bringing inside your home.”
As the COVID-19 virus continues to be studied, more concrete information about how long the virus can survive on certain surfaces is being discovered. Many health experts believe that washing your hands is the absolute best way to prevent the spread of germs from the grocery stores to your home.
Brandon Lloyd, a paramedic, advises that, “As soon as you get home from anywhere, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds will give you a much better chance of not getting sick, whether or not you were wearing gloves and a mask.”
Lloyd adds, “Be sure to wash all fruits a vegetable before eating, and when shopping do not touch everything on the shelf, look from a distance and grab only what you need.”
It is easy to forget about these rules when shopping at grocery stores due to the unique nature of adapting at the time of a pandemic. We are reminded to not bring our own reusable grocery bags to the store for the safety of others and to avoid bringing children to the grocery store if at all possible.