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Coronasmarts: Get Food Without Bringing Home the Virus

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We’ve all learned a lot lately about what’s necessary and what isn’t. Taco Tuesday with friends from the gym? Delightful but nonessential. Groceries, though—how can you bring home the all-important staples without bringing home the virus?

Wait until you really need to shop.

If you’re just itching to make lasagna but don’t have noodles, hold tight. Every time you leave the house you take a risk that affects many more lives than yours. Keep trips to the absolute minimum.

Keep your distance from other shoppers.

As far as we know, your danger comes more from people than from objects. So it’s not the bag of beans that you have to worry about but the person a foot away from you, sharing your air, while you reach for it. Try to keep six feet between yourself and other shoppers.

Leave your reusable bags at home.

Many stores are prohibiting them, because the virus may live for some time in the fabric. Better to make your peace with some paper or plastic usage at this time than take a risk.

Skip the gloves—but consider wearing a cloth mask.

The CDC is now recommending you wear a cloth face mask when you’re shopping—not so much to protect you from getting the virus as to protect others from you if you have it and don’t know it. Just be careful to avoid the temptation to touch your face if you need to adjust the mask. Gloves are another story. Unless you’re changing gloves after every touch you make, you might as well leave them off and make sure you wash your hands as soon as you’re finished. And if you’re feeling sick—just stay the heck home!

Don’t worry about disinfecting your grocery haul.

If it makes you feel better, go right ahead, but you don’t need to add packaging to the list of coronavirus contaminants. There’s been no evidence of transmission through food packaging. Wash your produce as you normally would.

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