Grocery Shopping in a World of Social Distancing

by Kimberly Bowman                                                         With new regulations about social distancing and generally wanting to be safe, people are worrying about going outside and near others to buy groceries. Those who still want fresh food and who want to support farmers are finding it difficult to keep a safe distance from others while shopping and going to the farmers’ markets.

Farmers have been forced to be creative and have come up with ingenious ideas to still deliver their food while not getting themselves or others sick. 

Some farmers’ markets let the shopper choose between “shopping the booths yourself or let someone else prepare an assorted box for you,” according to Dan Ashley and Jennifer Olney from ABC 7 News.

The Agricultural Institute of Marin, or AIM, has started what is called a “Bounty Box” and contains fruits and vegetables that shoppers can order online and get placed into their car at the farmers’ markets.

Dan Ashley and Jennifer Olney also stated that farms that sold food boxes before COVID-19 started are “so busy they now have waiting lists.” 

Sarah Elizabeth Adler from AARP explains how to be safe while grocery shopping. She recommends planning your trip to the store by making a list and going during “off-peak hours.”

Adler also describes how to stay healthy in stores. According to her, shoppers should wear cloth face masks and clean grocery carts with disinfectant wipes. She says that the best option for paying is a credit or debit card instead of cash “because the former can be safely wiped down with a disinfectant wipe after use.”

Once you return home, she quotes June McKoy, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Northwestern Medicine, and suggests “to put down any shopping bags or goods on the floor and walk ‘straight to the sink’ to wash your hands.”

The MITMedical staff describes “three ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” saying to “pay attention to personal hygiene,” “keep surfaces clean,” and “practice social distancing.” The article concludes by reminding that “good hand hygiene and proper disinfection practices are habits that never go out of season.”





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