How to Socially Distance at the Market?

23 Comments
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By an edhat reader

When I grocery shop, I try to buy as much as I can to store to limit the number of times I need to go out. I just went shopping yesterday and I'm still finding it difficult to appropriately distance myself from others. Even if I avoid aisles that have people, others will get in my space to get by or grab something off the shelf. The worst offenders seem to be the store's employees. 

Is anyone else finding this and do you have any tips?

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23 Comments

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d8vanilla Apr 01, 2020 10:13 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Just wear your N95 Mask. Bring plenty of disinfectant wipes. Be very aware, and knowledgeable of cross-contamination Try going to a store that's limiting how many shoppers they let in, like Ralph's , Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco .... those are the stores I've seen limit the number of shoppers. Make your list, go in, and quickly get your items, and leave.

a-1585762340 Apr 01, 2020 10:32 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Wait until this Friday to go to Costco, if you can. They just announced that starting April 3, they will only be allowing one extra person in per membership, so all the people bringing their entire family won't be allowed to do that anymore (thank goodness)

sacjon Apr 01, 2020 10:38 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Does the N95 mask protect you from catching it? I've heard so many different opinions on this. Seems that it would only prevent you from touching your face with dirty fingers. I would think just loading up on disinfectant before, during and after your shopping trip would keep you clean from getting it on your hands. Avoid people/keep distance to prevent it getting in your face.

ginger1 Apr 01, 2020 10:54 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Congrats. You've got it right. When healthy people start wearing masks, watch the panic level soar! There is some talk of how masks might *increase* risk of contagion, both ways, as fiddling with the mask, getting to the itch---all ways of getting surface deposited virus hand-into-your nose. Masks only work to protect healthy people in face-to-face situations, like health care workers. They can help sick people from spreading it, but that person should not be out of isolation in any event. Not proven to protect well people from catching it. (So says the US CDC, WHO, and CDC-equivalents around the world.) The only exception *might* be for healthy at-risk people, but they, again should not be out and about and in any event can practice distancing and hand sanitation---proven effective.

ginger1 Apr 01, 2020 10:54 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Congrats. You've got it right. When healthy people start wearing masks, watch the panic level soar! There is some talk of how masks might *increase* risk of contagion, both ways, as fiddling with the mask, getting to the itch---all ways of getting surface deposited virus hand-into-your nose. Masks only work to protect healthy people in face-to-face situations, like health care workers. They can help sick people from spreading it, but that person should not be out of isolation in any event. Not proven to protect well people from catching it. (So says the US CDC, WHO, and CDC-equivalents around the world.) The only exception *might* be for healthy at-risk people, but they, again should not be out and about and in any event can practice distancing and hand sanitation---proven effective.

Ahchooo Apr 01, 2020 11:45 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Ginger1, the problem is that it turns out that some people are carriers of the virus without ever having symptoms, and others are infected but won’t know it until a few days later. If everybody would wear a simple mask (not N95) we would reduce the spread of breath droplets substantially. Makes no sense to me to say Don’t wear a mask because you might do it wrong. People touch their faces with or without masks. Wear a cotton mask AND don’t touch your face. There are easy no-sew instructions online on how to make a mask out of an old t-shirt, etc.

EastBeach Apr 01, 2020 11:52 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Similar to GINGER1 I've heard health care professionals say the downside of a healthy person wearing an N95 mask is .... these masks are designed to be tight-fitting. But regular folks have not been trained in how to use them. They will often subconsciously pull the edges of the mask with their fingers to adjust the mask. Bingo - they've now touched their face.

sacjon Apr 01, 2020 12:06 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

EASTBEACH - I've heard the same. Also, when you touch your mask, you need to toss it or clean it immediately which I don't think many people do. It is now a carrier of the virus if you had it on your fingers.

SBRoses Apr 01, 2020 12:14 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Come on, everyone. If it didn't protect you from getting it, why would health care workers wear them. Let's get real here.

sacjon Apr 01, 2020 12:20 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

SBROSES - it's because health care workers are in an environment where they are constantly being spit on, coughed on, sneezed on, bled on, etc throughout their shifts. In addition they are trained in the proper use of masks and PPE.

sacjon Apr 01, 2020 12:22 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Here's some helpful info from the WHO website:

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. + Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
+ Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
+ If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly. --------------https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

a-1585773523 Apr 01, 2020 01:38 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Thanks. I did not know they did allow that! I had given up going there because of the crowds, but really needed the money-saving.

a-1585774023 Apr 01, 2020 01:47 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

But health care workers are supposed to discard the N95 mask after every patient -- the masks are not supposed to be multi-use, one doesn't protect for more than that, although multiple uses are what's happening given the shortage of them.

a-1585774045 Apr 01, 2020 01:47 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

But health care workers are supposed to discard the N95 mask after every patient -- the masks are not supposed to be multi-use, one doesn't protect for more than that, although multiple uses are what's happening given the shortage of them.

Bene Apr 01, 2020 04:16 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

You say just wear your N95 mask....but where are people supposed to get them? I thought masks were all sold out and only for health care workers?

Bene Apr 01, 2020 04:34 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

I for one am so tired of hearing that only very educated health professionals can figure out the extremely complex job of putting on a mask and remember not to touch the edges of the mask and their face with dirty fingers. I think most humans could be trained to put on a mask properly and to not touch their face. If a mask really saves lives, then people should have access to masks and instruction on how to use them. Evidence from other countries and input from the more candid scientists indicates masks help control spread of virus. Whether health care professionals get first crack at masks is another issue. I think they should. But it would be nice if manufacture of masks etc. gets ramped up so everyone who wants to not spread or catch this virus can have another layer of protection besides just washing hands.

Bene Apr 01, 2020 04:43 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

Sacjon, the virus has been said to be spread by droplets that linger in the air. If you walk by where someone else has sneezed or even talked, you could inhale virus. It is spread by inhalation (and exhalation). This information that i just mentioned is widely reported by researchers. Yes, some of the more politically inclined organizations downplay the usefulness of masks in keeping you from breathing in the virus. But some are now reversing their positions and others are strongly advocating mask use. If using a mask was only to remind you not to touch your face, it seems a rubber band on your wrist or any other memory jogging device would serve as well.

Nature Boy Apr 02, 2020 05:46 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

PLEASE don’t take D8VANILLA’s advice to wear an N95 mask to go grocery shopping!!! N95s are desperately needed by healthcare workers on the front lines of this battle, and there simply aren’t enough of them to afford the luxury of civilians wasting them on a trip to Trader Joe’s. PLEASE.

sacjon Apr 02, 2020 06:04 PM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

BENE - Politically inclined organizations? Like the CA Public Health Dept? "The state also does not recommend Californians use N-95 or surgical masks"-------https://www.edhat.com/comment/107868#comment-107868 ---------- Just curious what organizations are "strongly advocating mask use?"

GauchoGurl Apr 01, 2020 11:15 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

@DBVANILLA I agree with your other good tips and this one too would reduce one's own exposure but not overall spreading the disease risk since it would increase the exposure of the person doing the shopping for you.

LCP112233 Apr 01, 2020 10:51 AM
How to Socially Distance at the Market?

I am finding that the majority of folks are abiding by the rule. If someone does get too close to me, I will back away. Use disinfectant wipes and throw away rubber gloves. Toss when to put the cart away.

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