We still need to go out of our houses to buy food and other home essentials even during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). However, we must take precautions whenever we step out of our homes. Listed are some of the grocery shopping tips you might need to consider while this COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.
5 Grocery Shopping Tips during the ECQ
Wear a facemask.
Make sure to wear a facemask when going out of your home, especially when you go out to shop for food and other essentials. Wearing facemask is one of the preventive measures against COVID-19 that you can do to protect yourself and others as well.
Here in Baguio City, wearing facemask in public is a must as Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued an Executive Order mandating all people within the jurisdiction of the city to use facemasks and other similar protective covers when in public and when leaving their houses.
So don’t forget to bring with you a facemask or other protective cover upon heading out to shop for your needs. This is for you and for everyone else’s benefit.
Keep your distance.
One of the basic protective measures against the new coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is maintaining social distancing. This means you have to be at least one (1) meter or three (3) feet away from other people around you. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests that people avoid close contact within about 6 feet.
This way, you’ll be able to avoid the risk of infection since cough or sneeze droplets may contain viruses such as the COVID-19. So while in the public city market or grocery stores, keep an eye on the distance between you and everyone else who is also buying goods, whether it be a 3-feet or a 6-feet distance.
Buy enough food.
Based on the consumer update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, people are advised to buy food that may last for a week or two at a time. If you’ll look at it, this strategy could be convenient even to us here in the Philippines since the Luzon-wide ECQ is still ongoing.
However, as much as possible, still, limit what you buy because anyone who hoards basic commodities such as food and disinfectants amid a state of calamity in our country may face prison terms. So make sure to take only what you and your family need.
Wash your hands.
You might have already lost count of how many times you’ve heard or read about this tip from the TV, radio, and internet. But since it really is a necessary thing to do, here it is again. Let this serve as a reminder of how important handwashing is, especially during this pandemic.
Washing hands with either an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water will do the trick. This was mentioned among the basic protective measures against the new coronavirus published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- After unpacking groceries
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, on a question and answer published by the ABS-CBN News last April 4, 2020, since infected droplets may persist on surfaces, transmission via grocery items may be possible. And so, OIC-Usec Vergeire urges the public to wash their hands after unpacking groceries.
- Before and after preparing meals
Also, based on the US FDA consumer update, you should practice the habit of washing your hands often, including before and after preparing meals, before eating, and when you arrive home.
Wash reusable bags (plastic, nylon, cloth, etc.).
Aside from your hands and the goods that you’ll buy from the grocery store or the market, make sure to wash your reusable bags. At this point in time, there is actually no link between reusable bags and COVID-19, which means that reusable bags aren’t considered as risk factors in spreading the disease.
However, just like what OIC-Usec Vergeire has said, infected droplets may persist on surfaces which can make transmission via grocery items possible. That is why cleaning reusable bags you’ve used in grocery stores might be a good COVID-19 preventive measure that you can practice.
According to the COVID-19 PREVENTATIVE MEASURES | CLEANING AND DISINFECTING REUSABLE BAGS, a flyer released by the NC State University (NC State Extension), “It is always a good practice to clean and disinfect shopping bags after each use, and to pay extra attention to bags used to carry raw animal products.”
Stay Safe Everyone!
The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually pass, but until then, let’s all do whatever we can to keep ourselves safe from its threat. Let’s follow all the advisories and guidelines implemented by the government and practice preventive measures suggested by trusted sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Stay safe everyone!
SOURCE World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ABS-CBN News, Live Science, NC State University (NC State Extension), Baguio City Guide “Mayor Magalong Orders Mandatory Use of Face Masks in Baguio City” Blog