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Leaving the house during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are 4 tips on how to stay safe outside

By Alma Fabiani

Apr 21, 2020

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With lockdowns put into place across many countries and people expected to socially distance themselves from others, going out for essential trips such as grocery shopping or visiting the doctor can seem pretty scary. Here are the best ways to stay safe while going outside.

How to stay safe when going grocery shopping

First of all, if you showcase any COVID-19 symptoms, just stay home and try to get someone else to safely leave food outside of your flat.

If possible, order food online. At the moment, most supermarkets are already overwhelmed with deliveries which means that most of them are not offering any free slots for now. That’s when you will need to go outside.

While shopping, protect yourself by using a mask or a face cover. Stand at least two meters (6 feet) away from other shoppers and in check-out lines. Once you leave the store, use hand sanitizer if you’ve managed to get some and always wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.

Did you think you would be done once you get home? Well, you’re not. While many advise people to leave their groceries outside for three days after purchasing to avoid touching any germs on the packaging, it is most likely impossible to do so in big cities. Here’s what we suggest.

How to clean your groceries

Start by sanitizing the area you will place your groceries and designate another area for ‘clean’ groceries. With a disinfectant, spray and wipe down each item or plastic wrapping before placing it on the ‘clean’ designated half.

Coronavirus does not survive well in food, but the wrappers should be a concern. Try to avoid ordering take-out food but if you do, remember to clean and disinfect what you can and to remove plastic bags from cardboard containers that may have had human contact.

How to go to the pharmacy or the doctor’s safely

Before going outside, talk to your doctor online or on the phone. If you must go in person, remember to wear a mask or a face covering and don’t touch your eyes or your mouth. Once in the doctor’s office, use disinfecting wipes on frequently touched surfaces. Same as in the supermarket, stand 2 meters (6 feet) away from other patients.

In the pharmacy, order prescriptions and set a time to pick them up. If possible, get larger supplies of medicine so you will not have to revisit as frequently.

How to handle money safely

Last but not least, when going outside you will have to handle money in order to pay. Try to use online banking as much as possible. If you need to use cash, always remember to not touch your face afterwards and to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Hopefully this will help but remember to stay indoors as much as you can, to wash your hands, and stay safe.