What other surfaces is COVID-19 hiding on?
There is a lot of panic going around right now about COVID-19, or coronavirus. The good news is that there are simple steps we can take to protect ourselves. We already know to practice social distancing, wash our hands regularly, and avoid touching our face. Regardless of if a person is practicing social distancing, or under a stay-home order, they still have to go to the grocery store. Today we are talking about the steps that people can take to protect themselves from COVID-19 while at the store.
A new study says that COVID-19 can last on surfaces for up to three days! The length of time depends on the type of material. Stainless steel and plastic can carry it the longest. It can even last on cardboard for 24 hours. What about money? Can you get sick with COVID-19 simply by handling money?
Is COVID-19 on cash or credit cards?
We already know that cash can carry E.coli, Salmonella, and other types of bacteria. Could it carry COVID-19 as well? Some articles have microbiologist pointing out that money has never been “point zero” for starting infections. However, other health officials are recommending consumers avoid cash for now. When Seattle was open, Dick’s Drive-In restaurants even asked customers to use card instead.
Of course, credit cards can also carry bacteria. The idea is that a credit card has been touched by less people than a dollar bill has. If you can, try using a contactless credit card that can just be scanned. This may be another way to help stop the spread of germs.
Can you get COVID-19 from coupons?
Coupons are another way that germs can spread. Many stores provide customers with printed coupons and electronic coupons. If you have access to an electronic coupon, try using that instead. Be sure to zoom into the barcode and hold your phone steady so it can be scanned. Some coffee shops were offering discounts to customers that bring in their own reusable branded cups. These same coffee shops are no longer accepting reusable cups to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
How to protect yourself at the grocery store?
If your local grocery store provides hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes at the door, then you should use them. Disinfect your hands before entering the store. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the handle of the cart, as well as the sides of the cart. Grocery carts are disgusting and may have more germs than a public restroom, How many times have you pulled the cart behind you? How many times have you moved the cart out of the way for others by lifting it from the sides? Use disinfectant to clean the whole cart.
Shopping online is another way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. You might not be able to buy furniture on Amazon right now. However, you can still buy items like groceries and medical supplies. Shopping online is just one more way to practice social distancing.
Should you disinfect food?
Wash your groceries. As we mentioned earlier, COVID-19 can stay on items for three days. Wash produce with soap and water before putting them away. If you buy canned or packaged items that you will not use or touch for three days, just put them away in the cabinet. Experts are not worried about disinfecting all groceries right now, but they still mention that disinfecting packages shouldn’t hurt anything. Ben Chapman, a professor and food safety expert even said, “if it makes someone feel better to wash them, [then] they should do that”. Once the groceries are put away, use disinfectant to wipe down the counters. At the end, wash your hands with soap and water. Consider wiping down Amazon boxes of groceries before you handle them.
If you do go out to a grocery store, try to be nice and courteous to those around you. This is a difficult time for everyone. Something as simple as a friendly smile can help a lot. Try to be especially nice to the employees. They are tired, understaffed, and feeling stressed too.
If you do get sick, do not go out to the grocery store. See if any of your friends or family, who do not live with you, can go. You can even try posting on social media. There are a lot of people that are happy to help you. Use email or text to send them your grocery list. Consider using Venmo or PayPal as a contactless way to send them the money for your groceries. They can deliver the groceries to your front door.