Shopping? Minimise your COVID-19 risk

Shopping? Minimise your COVID-19 risk

Fuelling Your Body


Sunday, March 29, 2020

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THERE is so much being said about the novel coronavirus outbreak that there is the risk of information overload. However, there are things which should never be overlooked.

As some businesses are closing, supermarkets and pharmacies remain open. We need food, supplies, and specifically during an outbreak, we need to make sure that we have the healthy foods required to support our immune system and, if needed, support our recovery.

Supermarkets are convergence zones

Naturally, supermarkets are common convergence zones. As much as you try, you will not be able to secure one metre, much more six to 10 feet of distance from people when in the aisles.

Additionally, between any possible deep cleaning, hundreds, if not thousands of people are touching and breathing on tins, bags, boxes, produce, floor, shelves, the checkout counter, your clothing, shoes — everything.

A recent study shows that the flu virus is expelled from the lungs just through breathing. It is possible that the novel coronavirus may be spread similarly. Therefore, the minimum one-metre social distancing is crucially important, but preferably six to 10 feet.

How to minimise your risks

Firstly, assume that every person, every surface and every object is contaminated (even your own clothing and personal belongings). Avoid crowding and arguments — after all, do you really want someone shouting at you?

Secondly, never touch your face before you have washed your hands thoroughly.

Finally, follow these steps, or a variation that is conducive to your transportation routine and household.

1. After shopping, sterilise hands after you lock the car door and before touching anything else.

a. Cars are semi-safe feeling zones and you may wrongly, mindlessly, touch your face.

b. Routinely sanitise your car's frequently touched surfaces — seat belt, steering wheel, knobs, handles, shift.

2. On reaching home and bringing in the groceries, take your street clothes off and leave in a hamper at entrance or in the laundry.

a. Everything entering your house, including yourself, should be considered contaminated.

b. You are absolutely likely to be at ease in your house so avoid the potential of contaminating objects such as knobs, switches, linen, chairs, sofas, pillows, remotes, towels, etc.

c. Do not shake your street clothing to avoid releasing the virus… and disinfect hamper/laundry bag between washes.

3. Wash your hands, up to your elbows, thoroughly for 20 seconds.

a. Do not dry with your towel, use a disposable towel.

4. Sterilise all the item packages and wash produce.

a. Use a bleach-based cleaner, or another proven disinfectant, to spray and wipe each package. If possible, place in clean, sterile zone before putting in storage. Do not dry completely before placing in cupboard, fridge, pantry, or counter.

b. Wash produce with soap water.

5. Sanitise bags before putting them away.

a. Dispose of extraneous packaging, boxes or wrapping.

b. Your reusable bags must be sprayed with a disinfectant, inside, outside and handles. Safely wash, if able, and leave in a safe place to dry and sit, for up to three days.

6. Sterilise all the surfaces on which you did the unpacking.

7. Sterilise your phone, purse, wallet, handbag, and other personal items with a surface-safe disinfectant.

8. Re-wash your hands and take a shower, hair included, if possible.

It is important to note that when you are handling packages or food which are delivered, they should be treated as contaminated. Discard all packages and place in your own containers, and remember to wash your hands before eating.

We are seeing that the age ranges of critical COVID-19 patients are lower than expected in many western societies. Researchers are projecting that the disease caused by the new coronavirus, COVID-19, will be a part of humanity's future; eventually everyone will be exposed.

It is on you to avoid peaking the infections and overwhelming the health care system. It is also in your best interest to avoid the virus to the best of your ability, at least until a vaccine is available.

Eat healthily, exercise, manage your weight and pre-existing conditions, and stay safe.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at

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