Most of us have been trying to follow the social distancing and lockdown restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic. However, in unavoidable situations, we might need to go out to buy basic essentials or for medical emergencies. When we do go out it is highly important to stay cautious as there are more and more cases of asymptomatic people spreading the new strain of the coronavirus. TABIIB has compiled a list of tips to ensure that you stay safe as you head out for your important tasks. 

1. Wear A Face Mask To Stay Safe

Various public health authorities across the globe have reversed their initial statements and now recommend people wear face masks in public places. This has been particularly emphasized as more and more studies show that there is a significant portion of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals spreading the virus. So, when you do go out it is extremely important to wear a face mask especially in physical settings where you cannot maintain the recommended 6 feet distance. 

Face masks have become essential to stop the spread of the coronavirus. If you are an avid news lover you might have heard of the N95 mask or the surgical mask. The N95 mask is the most effective mask when it comes to blocking tiny particles. As the number in the name suggests, the N95 mask blocks at least 95 percent of the tiny particles that are 0.3 microns or higher. 

The second most popular masks during this pandemic are the medical masks. Medical masks are not as effective as the N95 masks. They are known to filter out anywhere between 60 to 80 percent of the small particles. 

Currently, the N95 masks and the surgical masks are mainly being recommended for the frontline workers. So, if you are going for grocery shopping, you could resort to a simple cloth mask if you don’t have these medical masks at your disposal. 

Two types of protective face masks on blue background. Protective masks used to stay safe from the coronavirus

2. Maintain A Safe Distance From People

During this contagious disease outbreak, social distancing has been proven to be extremely important. Most of us wouldn’t have even heard the word “social distancing” before January 2020, but now it’s everywhere. When outside, the social distancing guidelines require you to maintain at least 6 feet distance from anyone outside your house. Be it at grocery stores, gas stations or hospitals, to contain the spread of the virus, it has now become essential to stay at a safe distance from everyone. 

So, to stay safe, when you do step outside, get used to the new normal and maintain a 6 feet distance from everyone. 

Social Distancing Concept for Coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19). Wooden man and woman icon figure standing with distance to other people on table with copy space.

3. Clean Your Cart To Stay Safe

Research shows that the COVID-19 virus can remain on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 3 days. Each day several people visit the grocery store and use their shopping carts. So with this in mind, to stay safe, it’s best to clean your cart with some disinfectant before touching it. This simple precautionary measure could stop you from getting infected with any existing virus on the shopping cart. 

4. Try To Avoid Using Your Phone

While we have all become practically dependent on our smartphones, it might be a good idea to not use them in public places for our safety. Most of us never really cared about the germs on our phones, but it is now time to change that. Phones can become a hotspot of the virus mainly when they are placed on shared surfaces. They can also contribute to the spread of the virus because of the number of times we touch the screens with dirty hands. 

Close-up of persons hand holding mobile phone covered with microbe stickers. Bacteria on skin and personal stuff. Hygiene and health. Germs carrier concept

5. Don’t Touch Unnecessary Things 

As the virus is something that’s not visible to the human eye, it can literally be anywhere. From cereal boxes to candy wrappers, the virus can survive on any surface for prolonged periods. So to stay safe just avoid touching unnecessary things when you go out shopping. And it might be a good idea to use your elbows, knuckles or feet wherever you can.

6. Try to Disinfect Everything You Buy 

Pack some disinfectant wipes to wipe down everything you buy from the grocery store. It might sound like an extreme measure, but it’s always better to be safe. Even though the virus spreads the most during human-to-human contact, it could spread through other forms of indirect contact as well. So, after running errands, don’t forget to disinfect your groceries, your car handles, your handbag and anything else that could have come in contact with the virus. 

7. Go Contactless To Stay Safe

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, cash was believed to be one of the top carriers of bacteria and virus. Cash travels around the economy without any history of its previous owners so during this time you might want to stay clear of any cash transactions. Play it safe and rely on contactless payments whenever possible. 

8. Most Importantly, Wash Your Hands!

Apart from social distancing, washing your hands can stop the virus from entering your body. Once you are done with your shopping, use an alcohol based hand rub. To be more cautious as soon as you reach home, wash your hands with soap water for 20 seconds. This simple step could go a long way in containing the spread of the virus. 

Image that shows how to wash hands

On the whole, we need to be extra cautious during an infectious disease outbreak. Even though there is no guarantee that these simple steps will stop you from getting infected, they are definitely a step in the right direction. So next time you step out, just remember that “prevention is better than cure”. However, if you do have any symptoms, book an appointment with a doctor to get yourself checked. 

I am a content writer and I love writing on healthcare, telecommunication products, movies and more! When I am off the clock, you will probably find me exercising or binge-watching Netflix.