Essential Shopping and Travel During COVID-19: What to Consider Before Making a Trip

Essential Shopping and Travel During COVID-19: What to Consider Before Making a Trip

Seniors and those at a higher risk for contracting the virus should stay home if they don’t have to go out. However, that may not be an option for everyone. For those who don’t have loved ones nearby to assist with tasks like grocery shopping or banking, it is especially important to exercise caution when going out in public. Here, we will go over some pointers for running essential errands during COVID-19.

For grocery shopping, take advantage of home delivery and curbside pickup options.

There are many grocery delivery options like InstaCart and Shipt, and most large grocery chains, like Kroger and WalMart, now offer these services as well. There are also plenty of options for takeout like DoorDash and GrubHub.  If you have to visit a store,  make sure best practices are observed like a regular employee cleaning shopping carts (shout out to Costco and Trader Joe’s for doing things right).

Filling up the tank with gas can be a minefield during COVID.  If you have disinfecting wipes, utilize them on the handles and buttons at the gas pump before you touch them.  If you don’t, bring a paper towel to use as a barrier and some hand sanitizer to use after you have filled up the tank.

 Curbside pickup is here to stay.

Many specialty retailers like the Apple store and Best Buy are offering online ordering with curbside pickup.  These have become so popular with all age ranges that curbside pickup will likely survive and thrive in a post COVID world.

When you have to have prescriptions filled, it is best to utilize drive thru pharmacies to minimize your direct interaction with others. Another option is to take advantage of 90 day prescription options instead of 30 day prescriptions. This will mean fewer trips to the pharmacy.

For banking, best practice is also to use the drive-thru or ATM for any actions that can’t be done online. If you must go in, you should make an appointment with your local branch and take precautions by wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, and washing your hands.

If you are thinking about travel beyond your local area, please consider the following:

Many states have restrictions and quarantine requirements in place.  Check your planned destination’s state and local public health websites for the latest information before you finalize your plans.  Recognize that your plans may need to cancel or reschedule as new restrictions come into place.

If you travel by air, pick an airline that is blocking the middle seat (thanks Delta!).  Most airlines are doing a good job keeping your personal environment clean and most viruses and germs don’t spread easily on flights because of the way that air is filtered on airplanes.  Be prepared to stay masked for the duration of your flight.

If you travel by car, plan your trip to accommodate bathroom breaks and consider bringing food with you.  A rest stop picnic is a childhood memory for many of us.  Why not share this experience with your family today?

For more tips check out the following information from the CDC [link https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html.