During this shelter-in-place period, most of us are staying indoors more than ever before. While staying indoors is necessary to keep ourselves, our families, and others safe, what do you do when you need to run an errand, get groceries, or step outside for some fresh air?
Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued several recommendations to help keep us safe during this time, including wearing homemade masks, frequently washing hands/using hand sanitizer, and practicing 6ft social distancing.
However, there are additional steps you can take to remain cautious and diligent at home, as well as outdoors:
1. Avoid Using Your Fingertips
If you’re able, try using your elbow, wrist, knuckles, or another body part to open doors, pull levers, or push buttons or screens. It may seem silly, but will protect you from using your hands as much as possible, which could help prevent the spread of germs to other surfaces in your home.
2. Keep a Close Eye on Your Phone
Our phones have become such a part of our everyday lives that we often overlook where we set them down. Be mindful of where you place your phone, and if you can, place it in your pocket or purse instead. When in doubt, use a disinfectant wipe to clean and disinfect your device.
3. Leave Your Reusable Tote Bags at Home
Even if you feel well, your reusable tote bags have likely been handled by different people during your shopping trips, and can be a carrier of bacteria and germs. It’s best to leave them at home and opt for the store’s single-use plastic bags, at least for the time being.
4. Don’t Use Your Bare Hands to Touch Produce and Other Food
When you’re at the store, don’t sort through produce or food items with your bare hands. Instead, use gloves or put a plastic produce bag over your hands to minimize contact.
5. Limit Cash Handling
They say cash is king, but in times like these it’s best to keep it in the bank and out of your hands. If you can, opt for contactless payments instead, like Apple Pay or Google Pay, or order and pre-pay for items online.
6. Wipe Down Surfaces in Your Car and at Home
Any time you go out, especially if you’re around or in the vicinity of other people, it’s wise to sanitize your car or surfaces inside your home. Keep disinfectant wipes or spray handy, but hydrogen peroxide or a bleach mixture will suffice for areas like kitchen floors or bathrooms.
While this is a unique time for us all, adhering to the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC, as well as practicing these tips when you’re at home or out in public, will help contribute to the safety of you and your loved ones, as well as others.