It’s the new internal struggle most everyone is experiencing these days: Is it really essential to go out for this?
If you’re well, it is OK to make a grocery run as long as you take precautions. The following tips aren’t just to keep you safe — they’re for keeping the staff at these essential businesses safe from harm, too.
—Try to maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others at all times. At the cashier, be respectful and step back to give the cashier space while you’re getting checked out.
—Plan ahead. Make a list of exactly what you need and be smart about getting in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Not only does this decrease your exposure, it also gives others the opportunity to shop without worrying about the store being too crowded.
—If the store looks too crowded, take a walk around the block (staying at home so much likely means you could use the exercise) or come back later. The staff and other shoppers will appreciate your willingness to wait.
—Sanitize your hands before touching that avocado to see if it’s ripe, or handling any other products.
—Consider wearing a mask. However improvised (bandanna, scarf, etc), wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of the virus, since you can have COVID-19 and not show symptoms.
—When possible, use a credit or debit card, so you aren’t handling or making the cashier handle cash and coins.
—Again, you should *not* go shopping if you feel the slightest bit sick. That said, it is spring and that means it’s allergy season. So if you have to sneeze or cough, remember to do the Dracula routine (put your face into the crook of your elbow, like raising a cape).
—When you get home, make sure to wash your hands and sanitize your phone.
Stay safe out there for yourself and for the people who are working so that these shops can stay open. And make sure to thank them for their service.
As always, keep up with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and guidance from the New York City Department of Health.
photo: Le District