There are so many small habits we have that we may not pay close attention to – things such as washing our hands and touching our faces spring to mind. With COVID-19 on the rise worldwide, taking precautions when leaving the house is of utmost importance – doubly so when going shopping.
Considering the lockdown that we are currently in, a simple trip to the shops has become a bit of a complex procedure. To make sure that you stay protected when outside of the home, taking proper precautions is vital. Here are a few points that you should consider when you’re out and about.
Here are a few things that you will most likely touch when you are at the shops:
- Your face
- The door knob
- Your car
- Your keys
- The trolley or basket
- The products you are buying as well as those you don’t purchase
- Your bank card or cash
- Your cell phone
- Your wallet
- Your clothes
At the very least, you will touch these items on one trip to the shops. There will be many others; items that you might not even realise you have touched. This exercise is not intended to scare you, but rather to help you understand and become aware of just how many surfaces we come into contact with. The more aware we are of our behaviours, the better we will be able to take appropriate precautions.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Here are a few simple steps you can take as preventative measures:
- When you leave the house, wash your hands thoroughly
- When you get back, wash your hands thoroughly
- Wear a mask
- Do not touch your face
What other products can you use as protective or preventative measures?
- Hand wash soap or regular soap
- Hand sanitiser
- Sanitising wipes or towels
- Wear gloves (if you do, you must change gloves very frequently, as gloves cannot be adequately washed or sanitised)
What stores are doing to help?
The majority of stores that are currently open for business in South Africa have some sanitiser available for customers, but do not hesitate to carry your own sanitiser (if you have some).
Stores have made sanitising towels or wipes available for you to wipe the trolley or basket; however, for peace of mind, you can always bring your own sanitising towels. Some stores have gone to the length of sanitizing all their trolleys as a preventative measure to protect all their consumers.
As part of the current regulations, some stores have implemented line control, putting barriers with stickers for everyone to exercise social distancing.
Some supermarkets around the city have already covered up the fresh produce for safety reasons. Although the food may be covered, please ensure that you still sanitise your hands before touching produce to reduce any possibility of transmitting illness.
When you get home, it is advised that you wash your hands thoroughly from hand to elbow for at least 20 seconds. As an additional precaution, also wash your face in case you happen to have touched it.
Recent studies have shown that on average, you will touch your face approximately 23 times per hour, almost 300 times a day. Although this statistic may not apply to everyone, we do regularly touch our faces, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you would rather avoid shopping in person, you might want to check some local small businesses delivering during the lockdown! Staying indoors is a great way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 so let us play our part.
We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any tips, please comment below!