To counteract the coronavirus, the governments are implementing stringent measures to avoid any possibility of transmission. The current restrictions in force vary from Country to Country but generally they have the purpose to avoid gatherings and contacts between people that are the primary cause of infection. In this scenario, how can you shop safely?
Coronavirus, tips to shop at the grocery stores
Grocery shops and supermarkets are limiting the entrances to prevent too many people from stationing in indoor spaces. This, however, causes queues outside the supermarkets. It is important, while standing in queue, to respect the safety distance of at least one meter, better two meters or six feet. It is also important, when you are in the shop, not to touch your face with hands. As additional personal protection, but that doesn’t replace the rules just seen, you can wear gloves that must be thrown away immediately after their use. With or without gloves, hands have always to be washed when returning from the supermarket with soap and water, alternatively, or in addition, you can use a solution of water and at least 60% alcohol. After you put the groceries away, it is important to wash your hands again with water and soap or to use a disinfectant solution that contains at least 60% alcohol. Importantly, scarves or do-it-yourself masks do not offer safe protection to you or to other people, perhaps avoid dispersing around a part of saliva droplets, which is still something, but they are not a valid protection. Restrictions on distance between people and hygiene rules must always be respected.
Coronavirus, how to shop if I am in quarantine or I am unable to do it by myself? - In cases where the person cannot go to shop, because belongs to a risk category, because is sick or elderly, or because is in quarantine, there are services activated by cities and towns that deliver the groceries at home. Sometimes it may be a relative or neighbor to offer himself. In this case, the shopping bag must be left on the landing avoiding any contact between people.
Coronavirus, what to buy in the supermarket
It is always important to eat in a healthy and balanced way, now even more, as a healthy diet is the basis of a healthy body and of an immune system that works in the best conditions. So never miss fruit, such as oranges or kiwis, a source of vitamin C, and vegetables, such as salad, rocket and broccoli. Frozen fruits are also good, such as berries, as the amount of antioxidants, such as ellagitannins and quercetin, are preserved in this case too (Hakkinen, Doctoral dissertation, 2000 - Skrovankova et al, Int J Mol Sci , 2015). Every now and then a dessert helps the mood but it is good to avoid continuous blood sugar spikes that, in the long run, increase inflammation in the body, which, in turn, weakens the immune system. So it is always better to prefer whole and unrefined bread, pasta and rice. Probiotics are also useful, therefore yogurts that report on the label that they contain probiotics, miso or sauerkraut because they are not only beneficial for digestion but also support the immune system, especially for what concerns the defenses of the respiratory tract.
Another tip is to prepare the shopping list in advance to minimize the time spent in the supermarket.