Shopping for essentials is one of the few reasons deemed acceptable for leaving our homes under coronavirus social-distancing rules.
But with tens of thousands of people visiting supermarkets and shopping centres every day, these locations could potentially become virus hotspots.
It’s important we shop safely to reduce our chances of getting sick.
What are the risks?
The coronavirus’s secret weapon is that it can survive for several days outside the human body.
That can of beans you just picked up? If an infected shopper sneezed into their hand before picking up that same can and putting it back a day earlier, there is a chance you could contract the virus – especially if you touched your face straight after.
Going to the supermarket requires you to touch surfaces shared by other people, whether it be shopping trolleys, baskets or the touch screen at self-serve checkouts.
Although supermarket staff members are endeavouring to clean and sanitise everything, it is wise to take extra precautions.
If you’re feeling unwell, do not go shopping. Ask someone else to do it for you.
So what can you do?
Whatever you do, do not touch your face while shopping. That is how the virus spreads.
Don’t hang around at the supermarket, Bunnings or K-mart – wherever you are shopping.
Before you go, write a shopping list, do a quick blitz then head home.
Practise social distancing by keeping the length of a shopping trolley between you and the person ahead of you.
If you usually drive to the shops, it’s a good idea to rub your hands with sanitiser before touching the steering wheel.
Once you arrive home, wash your hands straight away.
Masks and gloves are not being recommended for shopping, in line with health department advice.
The coronavirus is a respiratory virus, not food borne, so you don’t need to worry too much about eating fresh fruit and vegetables but it is wise to wash them with water first anyway.
Supermarkets are encouraging shoppers to pack their own groceries and to pay via tap-and-go instead of cash to help limit transmission.