How to Shop Safely During a Pandemic

Now is not the time to casually stroll through the grocery store, come prepared.

Chloe Cuthbert
3 min readMar 30, 2020


Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Most states and municipalities have shelter-in-place or similar orders in effect by now. Where I live, our state mandated ‘Stay at home’ order goes into effect at 1700 today. Unsurprisingly, this caused a rash of last-minute trips to the grocery stores over the weekend. Pandemic panic shopping has been a thing since people realized quarantine was imminent. There’s a right way and a wrong way to pandemic shop.

Plan ahead

It’s difficult to know what your local stores will have in these troubling times. People have continued to deplete shelves faster than stores can get new product and restock.

But it’s still a good idea to plan ahead.

Before you leave your home, make a list of essential items you need. Now is the time to begin meal planning if you don’t already do this.

Be prepared to shop for alternatives, as it’s likely your first choice may not be available.

Designate one family member to do the shopping. Now is not the time to make this a family outing. The less people going out, the faster we flatten the curve of this virus and get back to normal.

Bring your own supplies

Before this pandemic, most stores had sanitizing wipes available, but they’re being depleted quickly. Bring your own so you can wipe down the cart before using.

Wearing gloves is pointless.

It’s a waste of gloves that could be used for something useful. If you’re wearing gloves, you’re cross contaminating each time you touch something. It’s more effective to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer once you finish your shopping.

Get in and get out

This is not a leisurely trip. The people working in the stores are putting themselves at risk by being there each day, providing an essential service. It isn’t fair to them or the other shoppers for people to take their time leisurely walking around the store.

It’s understandable people want to get out of the house and do something different. Cabin fever is a…



Chloe Cuthbert

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