Grocery stores are a madhouse right now. The bottled water is gone, staples like milk, eggs and bread are flying off the shelves, and there’s barely a roll of toilet paper to be found anywhere. Added to this equation is the risk factor of navigating a crowded store. To counteract exposure, a lot of people are shifting to curbside pickup or delivery.
Before you hit click on that list of groceries, take a moment to consider those who depend on grocery delivery. As Julie Rehmeyer points out, surging demand for delivery is making it harder for some disabled people to get their usual groceries.
A request: If you are able to get your own groceries, could you skip the grocery delivery right now? Some disabled folks rely on it, and the sudden surge in demand is leaving them without food.
Also, please retweet. The effort will only make a difference if enough people do it.
— Julie Rehmeyer (@julierehmeyer) March 18, 2020
Fortunately, there are other ways to minimise your exposure while shopping and to maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people. Here are some strategies for doing just that, while also freeing up delivery services for people who need it most:
Shop during the off-hours: Peak hours are typically in the morning and evening hours, as well as on weekend days. Shopping during the off-peak hours, such as late morning or early afternoon, will help reduce the number of people you’ll be exposed to. A quick and easy way to gauge how crowded a store is: Look at the number of cars in the parking lot.
Go off the beaten track: Everyone thinks of Costco, Woolworths, Coles or Aldi but what about that smaller neighbourhood store? Whatever is your first or second instinct, go for the third or fourth. Chances are, everyone else will be at your first or second choice, while you’ll be shopping in (relative) peace and quiet.
Have a plan: What are the items you absolutely need, what are the acceptable substitutes if they are out of stock, and what are some nice-to-have items? Have a back up plan for what you will do, if the items you need are out of stock. Can you get evaporated milk instead of fresh? Can you make tofu scramble instead of eggs for breakfast? Having a back-up plan means not having to drive around to different stores looking for that one item. The less time you spend in stores, the less your risk of exposure.
Sanitise: Make sure to sanitise your hands, wipe down your grocery cart handle before you touch it, and avoid contact with other people.
Say thank you to the workers. Grocery store employees are working so hard, risking their own health and safety, so we can have the food we need. They deserve our gratitude.
Purchasing toilet paper and other basic items has become increasingly difficult over the last week as more people began bulk-buying in preparation for potential self-isolation over the coming weeks. This has impacted many elderly Australians who haven't been able to buy toilet paper due to how quickly it has been disappearing from the shelves. Fortunately, Woolworths is stepping in to help.