Color & Control:

10 tips for shopping for what you need

How we get what we need to sustain ourselves has changed. Merchants, families and each one of us has to work hard to prevent the spread of COVID–19 now and in the future.

If you are an older adult and person living with a disability who needs assistance, many merchants have put plans in place for you. What works best is to be patient and, move to the front of the line considerately and with grace and dignity and be ready to explain what you need. Remember, these are difficult times for all of us, especially front-line workers.

Here are couple of ways to be considerate shopper, banker or customer, wherever you are:


  1. Home first.

Arrange home delivery whenever you can. It’s easier, involves less waiting and is by far the safest approach for all concerned.


  1. Mask up.

As we’ve all heard, you can be a carrier without knowing it. Wearing a face mask or covering in public places helps reduce the risk of spreading. You don’t need professional equipment – that should be reserved for medical personnel.


Wearing a face mask to prevent the transmission of the virus is one of the most basic things we can do to be considerate of our fellow shoppers.


  1. One person, not a team.

Less is better when it comes to going out.  Get organized. Make a list. Plan your trip and don’t stop along the way. Go alone if you can. And whenever possible, designate one person as the shopper of your household.


  1. Don’t fret and hoard.

Seems like our supply chains are working well so, stock up with what you need. Don’t empty the shelves like the toilet paper and wipes hoarders. Most stores are asking us to take a maximum of two of each item, unless your shopping for others of course.


  1. Nonpeak times. 

Figure out when the store or bank is the least busy with line ups and crowds. No one wants to spend a few hours lining up at the best of times. Most stores have special early or late hours for persons with disabilities and seniors to shop. Also opt for local, smaller stores when you can. Don’t forget to take advantage of online shopping and delivery services.


  1. Get in and get out.

Be organized. Take a list and try not to zig zag back and forth in the store. The least amount of time you are in the store and the away from your home, the better.


  1. Six feet away.  

Wait your turn. Be patient and stay as far was as you can from others in isles, at registers and counters. A lot of shops have put guide arrows and 6 foot markers on the floors for all of us to follow.


  1. Clean your cart. 

The virus can stay active on surfaces for up to 3 days. Be that guy or gal who spends a few extra seconds to disinfect your cart or shopping basket for the next person. Also remove shopping lists, face masks and gloves from the cart and put them in the garbage yourself.


  1. Thank you means a lot.

Many delivery people and front-line workers are doing their job under difficult and sometimes uncomfortable circumstances. Try to be cheerful and appreciative during your visit and say thank you to as many people as you can.


  1. Wipe, wipe, wipe.

Before you unload, try to leave packages for a few hours. When you bring them in, wipe everything down with sanitizer before you put it away. And, you can’t wash your hands enough these days. Wash thoroughly with soap and water before and after unpacking and dispose of packaging in a safe place away from pets and kids.


Try to do your part…these are different times. Being careful, being kind and doing a little extra for someone else can make all the difference when it comes to flattening the curve and getting ourselves back to daily life as we prefer it.

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