Pandemic Tips #5 – Shopping checklist
I’m trying to minimize risk when I need to go to the store. Here is a sample checklist for before and after your trip
I am constantly revising my protocol for trips to the store. Every time I head out I learn from the experience and revise my protocol. The following is just an example. You will need to tweak your checklist to suit your needs
Before heading to the store.
- Cards in my other wallet – I take the credit cards, cash and store membership cards I need and put them in a separate wallet. That wallet is strictly used for shopping. That way I don’t need to handle my regular wallet while out
- Mask and gloves – I don’t put these on. I’m assuming the car is relatively sterile if I haven’t driven it in 24 hours. I take a pair of latex gloves for shopping and a pair of plastic gloves for when I get home.
- Long pants/Long sleeve shirt – I want as little exposed skin as possible. That reduces the chance of virus particles in the air when you shower when you come home.
- Hat – I want my hair covered to prevent any airborne virus particles from lodging there. I still have my Van Dyke. If I was really paranoid, I’d shave that. But covering half my face makes me look twice as good so it stays.
- Shoes – See below. I spray my shoes when I get home and get out of the car. Make sure you have shoes that you don’t need to wear in the house. You don’t want to track things in. You could also leave an ‘inside pair’ in your garage or by your door.
- Shopping list. I do not want to handle my phone except for an emergency. I print out my shopping lists before going out.
- Lights – If it will be dark when I get home, I leave the breezeway and kitchen lights on so I don’t have to touch the switches
- Zicam – I don’t know if it does any good or not, but I take a half a Zicam before leaving. It works on the flu which is similar, but not identical to Covid-19.
- LEAVE THE KIDS HOME – The store isn’t a place to take them. Kids in a store are exposed to the biohazard and can be exposing others if they are infected.
Before heading into the store.
When I get to the store, I do the following:
- Put my mask on
- Put my hat on
- Put my gloves on.
- Put my car keys in the watch pocket of my jeans
- I still wipe the cart with a sanitizing wipe if available. The less exposure the better.
I try to shop as quickly and efficiently as possible. I found that going during the week in the evening works out best for me.
- I do not touch my phone.
- When I get to the checkout, the cards or cash that I need are in my second wallet.
- I try to make sure that all the refrigerated/frozen stuff is together.
- My keys go in my watch fob pocket in my jeans so I don’t have to dig into my pockets.
- I keep my gloves and mask on until I stowed the groceries.
- Once the groceries are stowed, I carefully remove the gloves and put them in a bag in the car. Then I use hand sanitizer. At that point, I can remove my mask. Remember that the outside could be contaminated so handle it accordingly.
When I get home I follow another set of procedures.
- As soon as I get out of the truck, I switch over to my ‘inside shoes’ and leave the shoes I wore to the store in the garage. I spray the soles with sanitizer before removing them.
- I put on a cheap pair of plastic gloves because the bags could be contaminated. I make sure that the door to the house is open before touching any of the bags.
- I take the refrigerated/frozen food in. I figure that non perishables can remain in the truck overnight.
- Frozen and refrigerated food should be sanitized before putting it away.
- I immediately put any of the shopping bags in the trash.
- At that point, I can remove and discard the gloves. That is followed up by a thorough washing.
- I take a full Zicam tablet. Again, I don’t know if that does any good but it makes me feel better.
- Wallet and cards – Don’t forget to remove your cards. I wipe them down and put them in my regular wallet. I also wipe down my phone, fitbit and anything else that could be compromised. I wipe the wallet down and leave iton a windowsill (there are no passers by). That way, the sunlight will help disinfect it
- Clothes go right into the washer,
- I head up and take a shower. I have some questions as to if a shower could spread virus particles in your hair or on your skin. That is why I wear long sleeves and long pants as well as a hat.
- Consider sanitizing the inside of your vehicle.
The next day or maybe even 2 days later, I will remove the non perishables from the truck. You still want to be cautious and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
There you have it: A basic plan for minimizing risk when shopping.