The central government has imposed a countrywide lockdown to restrict the transmission of Coronavirus. While all schools, universities, offices and businesses have been shut down, establishments selling essentials – groceries, vegetables, and medicines are open.
But fear of getting infected has made people avoid going outside to buy their stuff. At this stage, the best way to shop is online, but the question is – how safe is it?
In this article, we will look at how you can safely order your essentials online during the coronavirus epidemic.
Is it safe to order food online?
Let us look at the issue from a different angle. You are aware that coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, these cough droplets land on a surface or get mixed with air. If you breathe this air or touch that surface, chances of getting infected goes up.
So, going to the supermarket to buy groceries is not very safe. This is because there will be many other shoppers and among them might be an infected person. Although social distancing has been implemented, you will still have to keep a distance of 2m from others– there still lies a high risk of being infected.
To be on the safer side, it is best to consider that these markets can be potential breeding grounds for COVID-19. People are constantly touching and replacing items, touching ATM cards, ATMs, receipts, stainless steel surfaces and credit card machines. Thus, this creates a high risk environment for the shoppers as the virus can be transmitted to these surfaces, which you may unknowingly touch.
The solution – shop online for your daily essentials. According to experts, there have been no observations suggesting that coronavirus can be transmitted via food or packaged food or groceries. Furthermore, if you are ordering food online, it is safe too as cooking kills the virus.
However, it is best to sanitize the packaged food before you eat it. This will remove any possible traces of the virus from the package.
Precautions to take while ordering online during the coronavirus epidemic
Let us now look at the precautions you must take while ordering online –
- Contact-less delivery
Contact-less delivery will ensure that there is no contact between you and the delivery person. In this process, the delivery person will simply leave the food at your doorstep. He will give you a call or ring the doorbell to confirm the delivery. You can safely pick up your food from your doorstep while keeping distance.
If possible you can keep a basket or a bag outside your door where the delivery person can keep your package and leave.
- Online payment methods
Another smart move to fight against the coronavirus epidemic, is to opt for online payment methods. This includes mobile payment applications, or via debit cards. This prevents the chances of COVID-19 transmission. As you do not have to pay in cash, you do not have to come in close contact with the delivery person.
But in case you do choose to pay in cash (cash on delivery), it is best to keep the exact amount in hand and give it to the delivery person. Put the exact amount in a packet or envelope. This way, you do not have to accept any change.
- Cleaning the food package
After accepting the package, clean your hands properly with soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Then put the food or grocery items in a clean container. Then you must throw the packet in the garbage bin. Use bleach to disinfect the container to remove any germs. Also, disinfect the areas where the packaging has been placed such as tabletop, floor or chairs.
Experts say that wiping surfaces with household bleach will kill any virus on it within a minute.
- Personal hygiene
It is recommended that you heat the food properly before eating if it has gone cold. This will remove or kill any virus that might have crept into it. You can eat your food with a fork and a spoon instead of your hands.
Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with a sanitizer or soap for at least 20 seconds before eating.
During these difficult times, you have to stay aware and take all the possible precautionary measures for battling against the coronavirus epidemic. Follow the tips mentioned here to shop online safely.