A month into the lock-down, chances are that you are leaving the house only for essentials or a spot of fresh air. Eindhoven News brings you some handy tips to stay safe and protect yourselves when you have to leave the house for those absolute necessities.
Make the most: Plan all your essential chores like grocery, medical supplies in advance so you can cover everything in one trip. A list is a lifesaver as you need not spend time scanning through aisles for inspiration plus limit the number of items you touch. Stock up for a week or to the maximum that your refrigerator can hold. But this is no reason to hoard!
It’s all about timing: Avoid the peak hours when you do venture outside. Grocery stores tend to be their busiest during weekday evenings and weekend afternoons. Early in the morning is a good pick as the shops would be well-stocked and would have had fewer visitors before and during your visit. Plan your visit well in advance and before you run out of supplies. Check out the new store timings, online delivery options and senior citizen hours before you go!
Keep your distance: Ensure you keep a distance of 1.5 meters which is roughly two arm lengths from others when you are outside. This includes within the grocery shops as well. If you feel there are far too many visitors making it difficult to maintain the desired distance, try to visit later or alternate stores. Wearing a mask can offer some protection though there is no proof on its usefulness if you are healthy. But using a homemade cloth mask, scarf or even a bandana to cover your nose and mouth as a precaution never hurts anyone. Just make sure you wash or dispose of them correctly. Same applies if you are out on your exercise routine!
Safe Shopping: Carry your own disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to help wipe down the shopping cart. Most grocery stores have sanitizers at the entrance but add your own as an additional precaution. Curb the urge to pick up non-packaged items and to rummage through fruits and vegetables. It is safer to buy packaged items and avoid open groceries until the pandemic passes. Limit the items you touch, be your quickest and use the self-checkout. Use wipes or hand sanitizer as this is again a high-touch surface. Carry cloth reusable shopping bags that can be washed. Once home, remove your shoes and wipe the food packaging for good measure!
Hands, hands, hands: The importance of washing hands (minimum 20 seconds with soap and water) is being emphasized the world over. Carry an alcohol-based hand rub (with at least 60 per cent alcohol) with you at all times and use it before and after your grocery shopping. Disposable gloves can also be used if you take precautions to dispose of them carefully without touching your face and then washing hands afterwards. If you have to touch surfaces or handles, use elbows or even your identity cards. These are less likely to be used for touching your face inadvertently afterwards. Wipe the cards with disinfectant wipes when you get home of course. Wash your hands thoroughly after your trip and before and after you unpack your groceries. Do not forget to disinfect your phone with a wipe!
Offer a prayer: Words cannot express the gratitude we owe to the health care workers, the essential staff who man these grocery stores and others who are on the forefront of our fight against the coronavirus. We can do our bit to protect ourselves by following these tips. But more importantly, stay home to protect these souls who have put their lives at risk to serve us!
Keep calm and let us pray the pandemic goes away soon!
For Eindhoven News
Muktha Kartik Iyer