The CDC recommends non-medical face coverings in public to help contain the spread of the corona virus. They mention groceries and pharmacies as locations where it can be difficult to practice social distancing. Whether you buy groceries online or in stores, here are some steps you can take to limit your exposure to corona virus:
Wash Nonporous Containers. The FDA says there’s no current evidence supporting transmission of the virus from food packaging. But it can’t hurt to wipe down non-porous containers like glass or cans with disinfectant wipes.
Wash Your hands, Counters, and Other Surfaces You’ve Touched. Do this after you’ve put away the groceries. Keep in mind that using a disinfectant isn’t necessary unless you’re sharing a space with someone who is exhibiting signs of respiratory illness or has been exposed to the virus.
Wash Produce. Rubbing fruit and vegetables under running water and scrubbing those with hard skins can help remove pesticides. But there’s no data to show that COVID-19 is spread by consuming food. The risk of getting the virus from your food is considered low.
If You’re Getting Your Groceries Delivered
Even if a grocery store or warehouse is thoroughly cleaned & disinfected, a delivery person may not have taken adequate precautions. So, follow these steps when having groceries delivered:
Avoid a Direct Hand-Off. Arrange to have the items delivered to your doorstep or a place nearby instead. Most companies have a way to indicate special delivery instructions on their order forms.
Tip Electronically. One benefit of ordering groceries online is that you don’t have to handle money. An option to tip the delivery person is included in most online ordering systems.
If You’re Picking Up Prepacked Groceries
If you’ve ordered groceries online and are having someone put the groceries in your car, consider opening the door yourself rather than having another person touch the door handle. And if you can tip on a supermarket’s app, do so rather than handing over cash.
If You’re Buying Groceries in a Store
Most importantly, try to stay 6 feet away from other people. That’s the general distance within which people pick up corona virus droplets through the air. Here are some other precautions:
Go Shopping at a Time that’s Less Busy. If you type the store’s name and location in Google search, a box will often pop up showing when foot traffic there is highest.
Wear a Face Covering. It’s not necessary to use surgical or N-95 masks. Those must be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders. The CDC states that nonmedical coverings can be “basic cloth or fabric masks.”
Take Germicide with You. Use it to wipe your hands and cart before & after you shop. Use a credit or debit card, so you don’t have to exchange money. Also, use your own pen to sign receipts. If you can, use a virtual payment system like Apple Pay so that you don’t have to open your wallet at all.
While no one can foresee the continued impact of the coronavirus on the real estate market, you don’t have to feel entirely in the dark. As your local real estate professional, I am committed to the health and safety of your community and pleased to keep you abreast of the changing situation and help you navigate the challenges. If you’re thinking of buying or selling during this turbulent period, or if I can provide any type of information or assistance, don’t hesitate to give me a call. Stay healthy.