I’m running a bit low on a few staples, and so must hie myself to the grocery store this week. I will shop between 6 and 8 a.m. to avoid the crowds, but I called my doctor to see if there were any extra precautions I should take. After I talked to him, I became frightened for the very first time during this pandemic. Can shopping really be that dangerous?
The doc’s advice (you can read more on his website, which currently has a four-part series of reports and advice on the coronavirus):
1.) Assume that everything you buy is contaminated with coronavirus, and deal with it accordingly.
2.) That means wiping down everything you buy with sanitizing wipes or Lysol—except, of course, for produce, which you must wash thoroughly. (He said he adds something to the produce-washing water, but I didn’t get what it was.)
3.) This is Jerry’s additional advice: Put your grocery bag and groceries aside for a few days, except for perishables, before handling them, as the half-life of the virus on paper or cardboard ensures that you can touch them after a day, while for metal or plastic it’s three days. But I hasten to add what the good doc said:
If you can wipe the groceries down with a solution that kills the virus, you can eat them right away (by which I mean wipe the containers, not the actual food).
4.) Wash your hands when you get home and then after putting away groceries.
5.) Assume that the handles of your bags are contaminated, so don’t touch them after you wash your hands. Sanitize the handles if possible.
6.) There is no need to wear latex or other gloves in the store. The object is ultimately to avoid contaminating not your hands, but your face, where the virus enters through nose, eyes, or mouth. Ergo, if you touch something with gloved hands, and then touch those gloves to your face, you’re just as screwed as if you didn’t have gloves. And besides, you’d have to wash your hands anyway after you take your gloves off, for you’ll have touched the possibly-contaminated gloves while taking them off. Deep-six the gloves, said the doc, and just wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face.
Now I have half a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol that I can use to decontaminate stuff, but I’m 100% sure that when I run out I won’t be able to replenish it from the pharmacy. And a friend told me that because of hoarding, there’s no Lysol to be had. What is one to do?
Crikey, all because someone ate a bowl of bat soup a few months ago!