Coronavirus Tips: Here Are 10 Practical Ways To Stay Safe In Public
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are being urged to limit the time they spend in public.
Going out in public spaces while your city is implementing social distancing might make you uneasy. After all, you should only be leaving your house to run errands when absolutely necessary. There are many places where only essential businesses are open right now; including healthcare services, grocery stores, and gas stations. Laundromats make the cut as well, depending on where you live. But, what should you do when you go out into these public spaces? Here are some expert tips for how to stay safe in publicplaces at this time.
Like other viruses, it is possible that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces or objects. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, there is evidence that coronavirus lasts up to three days on plastic and stainless steel; and it can last on cardboard for up to 24 hours. The virus breaks down with time the longer it remains on surfaces.
You might also be worried about not being able to properly practice social distancing while out in public places. That same study suggested that the virus can be sustained in the air for three hours. That should be a warning to just take precautions in an enclosed environment. We've included guidelines from experts and other sources to help you navigate how to stay safe and sanitized; while outside your home running errands.
How To Stay Safe In Public Places During The Pandemic
Many stores are offering alcohol-based wipes, but it's smart to bring extra with you to wipe down your shopping cart.
This advice is so that you don't go around touching more than what you need to touch; it comes from a doctor in Michigan USA. He posted a viral video on YouTube regarding what he considers to be safe grocery shopping.
You can wear latex gloves to the supermarket as long as you dispose of them properly and wash your hands afterwards. Same goes if you don't have latex and are wearing cloth gloves. You should wash them after every use and scrub your hands immediately after taking them off. Additionally, don't touch your face with or without gloves.
Many food stores have modified hours and have also designated time in the day for older adults. Try to go when you think the food store might be less crowded; so that you're able to practice better social distancing.
This if you're not wearing gloves. The hand sanitizer should contain at least 60 per cent alcohol.
Up until recently, the CDC did not recommend people who otherwise are not ill to wear face masks out in public. However, on April 3, it was announced that the CDC now advises the use of cloth face masks in public.
Below is an updated video for how to clean your groceries at home. Tips include:
- disinfecting the surface you're using to unpack your groceries
- splitting a table into "dirty" and "clean" areas
- and getting rid of unnecessary external packaging like cereal boxes.
Peel your fruit or wait to eat produce if you're not comfortable even after washing them; the virus will die within a few days in the fridge.
Safety Tips In Other Public Places
Enough with the fingertips: Use your knees, feet, elbows and knuckles instead
If you're still pressing buttons for walk signs with your fingertips, stop. Any time you have to open a door, push a button, pull a lever or digitally sign for something, use a different body part instead. You have plenty.
Distance, distance, distance
If you need to keep more distance between you and someone else while on a walk or when reaching for an item at the store, take a step back and wait or politely ask the person to give you more clearance.
Watch where you put your phone
While we've got the go-ahead to use disinfecting wipes on phones; another smart idea is to avoid placing your device on iffy surfaces, to begin with. Do you really need to put your phone down, or can you just stash it in a coat pocket or purse? The less you can expose your phone to shared surfaces, the less you need to worry about them in the first place.
Wash your hands every time you get 'home'
Along with social distancing, washing your hands thoroughly is one of your best defences against acquiring coronavirus. Give your hands a thorough scrub each time you get back. 20 seconds is the going recommendation, which may seem like ages, but if you wash slowly, it's easy to do.
Stop handling cash
While it's believed that the highest risk of acquiring coronavirus comes from person-to-person transmission, we do know that shared surfaces can harbor the virus. Play it safe by setting the cash aside for now and relying more on contactless payments.