*Editor’s Note: Elephant is not your doctor or hospital. Our lawyers would say “this web site is not designed to, and should not be construed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. Always consult a health professional before trying out new home therapies or changing your diet.” But we can’t afford lawyers, and you knew all that. ~ Ed.
I’ve got a low-grade fever that seems to rise by two-tenths of a degree daily.
My heart goes on and off feeling like it’s pounding. My head and body both go on and off of aching. My nose is stuffed and yet somehow also runny.
I’m hot and I’m cold. I’m yes and I’m no. I’m in and I’m—well, I’m not out, actually.
Could be allergies. Could be a cold. Could be the flu. Could be the coronavirus. I don’t know.
But what I do know is that I have traveled through multiple airports within the past two weeks on my way back from a vacation that started before this seemed to be a legitimate thing to be concerned about.
What I do know is that I’ve gone to six stores on three different occasions in search of two weeks to a month’s worth of the essentials so that I could hopefully minimize both my exposure to others and others’ exposure to me over the coming weeks.
Because what I also know is that I could have the virus. And while my body could be doing a decent job at fighting good ol’ ‘rona right this very moment, I could also very well spread it to someone whose system won’t handle it at all—possibly resulting in their death.
Simply (and admittedly dramatically put), I’d rather not be an inadvertent murderer.
It was the Editor. In the grocery store. With a sneeze!
So, without further ado: this video ran across my Facebook page with the comment that a couple of weeks ago, this would seem way overkill. But today’s a different world.
Ladies and gentlemen, here’s a video on responsible grocery shopping, washing, and take-out handling.
It’s a bit long, so I’ll summarize it in text below. But I encourage you to watch all the way through. There really is a wealth of information packed in here. Like this:
“Imagine that the groceries that you have are covered with some glitter. And your goal at the end of this is to not have any glitter in your house, on your hands, or especially on your face. And imagine that disinfectants and soap—they have the power to dissolve that glitter.”
“Fun” facts from Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen:
- “Coronavirus can live in an aerosolized (outside of the body) situation for three hours. It can live on cardboard for one hour. And it can live on plastic and metal surfaces for three days. That’s a lot better to deal with than the data that we got [on March 23rd] from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention that found that on cruise ships, they discovered active coronavirus particles 17 days later.”
- Coronavirus doesn’t survive well in food—particularly hot food. You can microwave it dead.
- Freezers aren’t safe. Coronavirus has been found to be able to live in a frozen environment for up to two years.
Do these things and you’ll have COVID-19 kitchen sanitation in the bag:
- Wipe down your cart.
- Commit to purchasing items that you pick up. Don’t touch items that you are not going to buy.
- Plan before you go, to minimize your time in the market (and what you touch).
- Get two weeks’ worth of groceries when you go (minimize your exposure).
- Forgo the cloth bags to minimize risk (if your eco heart can tolerate it).
- Try not to bring groceries into the house unless you absolutely need them. It’s ideal to leave them in the garage or on your porch for three days (Die, virus! Die!).
- Sanitize your table using a standard disinfectant. Plan to keep “dirty” groceries on one half, and “clean” items on the other.
- Saturate a rag with disinfectant so that each time you go back to it, your hands (gloved) and any items are considered clean and sanitized.
- Remove prescriptions from the bag (to be discarded) and wipe down the prescription bottle since human hands have touched it.
- Discard things like cereal, baking, and frozen food boxes since no human hands have likely touched the interior plastic baggie. Open the box, and dump the plastic bag on the clean side of the table.
- Produce wrapped in plastic (oh no!) can be ripped open and dropped directly in the crisper, or the plastic wrapper can be firmly scrubbed with the disinfectant rag.
- Soak unwrapped produce in soap and water while you disinfect other grocery items. Then, scrub it clean for 20 seconds.
- With items such as bread, use a clean reusable container to dump items into without touching the items to the dirty bag.
- Spray disinfectant directly on glass and hard plastic containers.
- Wipe down literally anything that human hands have likely touched (This includes items going into the freezer. Remember, the virus can live there for up to two years).
Take out coronavirus using these to-go food handling tips:
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, scrubbing well.
- Again, start with a clean table.
- Have clean plates nearby, ready for food transfer.
- Avoid wrappers. But if you must, unwrap food and literally dump it on plates, not allowing it to touch the outside of the wrapper.
- Alternatively, pop food in its wrapper into a microwave until steaming to successfully kill the virus.
- Avoid frozen foods. (Again, coronavirus hates the heat, but can survive well in the cold.)
- Wash hands again before eating.
So, there ya have it, folks. Happy Danny Tanner-ing!
How to Enjoy Life Amidst the Coronavirus Fear: Your Go-To Guide from Books to Podcasts & Wellness Practices.
What the Coronavirus is Teaching Me: 5 Lessons from Uncertain Times.
The Artist’s Stay-at-Home & Stay Sane Guide.
10 Simple Ways to Boost your Immunity without Leaving the House.