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This Month In Life
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  • Safe Shopping
    As the world is slowly opening back up, businesses are re-opening, jobs are coming back, and life is starting to look a little more normal. When you hit the road to go shopping and run errands around town, here are basic steps to stay healthy. Read >>
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Health and Fitness News

Safe Shopping

With COVID-19 on everyone’s minds, even simple tasks like shopping have become complicated. As you’re out and about, how can you protect yourself from the coronavirus?

So far, it’s thought that the best way to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is to stay home. After all, if you’re not around anyone else, then you won’t get infected. However, being at home 24-7 may not be feasible for you or it may be hurting your mental health. As the world is slowly opening back up, businesses are re-opening, jobs are coming back, and life is starting to look a little more normal.

However, you may still be nervous leaving the house, as you fear people around you are carrying the virus. Making the problem worse is that an estimated 40 percent of COVID-19 transmissions happen before the infected person even feels sick, and nearly 35 percent of people infected with the virus are asymptomatic but are just as contagious.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to take precautions to avoid getting sick. As you go shopping and run errands around town, here are basic steps to stay healthy.

Practice Physical Distancing

The primary way COVID-19 spreads is through the aerosol droplets of saliva that enter the air when someone talks, coughs, or sneezes. Thankfully, these droplets rarely travel farther than six feet. For this reason, it’s best to maintain a distance of at least six feet from people around you. This is impossible if you’re getting a haircut or manicure, but while you’re walking around the grocery store or waiting in line, keep six feet distance between you and the other patrons.

Also, you’re more likely to be infected when you’re in close proximity to a lot of people or near an infected person for a prolonged period of time. The closer you are to people and the longer you’re around people, the greater your chances of being infected. Being in enclosed environments poses a greater risk than being outdoors. For this reason, do your necessary errands, stick to your list, and don’t linger longer than needed.

Wash Hands

Unlike previously thought, it’s rare for the coronavirus to spread from contact with surfaces. Instead, the main way people get infected is through human-to-human transmission. While the virus does live on surfaces for hours or days, it’s rare to get sick after touching a door handle, ATM, or shopping cart with the virus on it and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. Despite this, you may want to wipe down your shopping cart with a sanitizing wipe, but there seems to be no need of sanitizing your grocery packages when you arrive home.

Since there’s still a possibility for infection from surfaces (research is ongoing), it’s important to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands before you leave the house and as soon as you return. While you’re out, periodically use hand sanitizer after touching public surfaces. Use a brand that’s made with at least 60 percent alcohol. And don’t use gloves except for one-time use, when cleaning with chemicals, or while caring for a sick person.

Wear a Mask

When running errands, you’re safer with a mask, and so are others. Actually, masks are less to protect yourself and more to protect others. When considering a mask, choose one that covers your nose and mouth.

Plan Your Outings

High-risk populations may want to take extra precautions. Have your groceries and medications delivered to your home or curbside. Plan to do your errands during off-peak hours. Fewer people are out during weekday mornings. Some businesses have reserved certain business hours for senior citizens. Use these times to purchase groceries, toiletries, and other items you need.