What it’s Like to Go Grocery Shopping During COVID-19


Shoppers frequently wear face masks while buying the goods they need in order to prevent the spread of bacteria. (Photo/Gabriella Clare Marino/Unsplash)

Timothy Fong, Print Features Associate

One of the main impacts that COVID-19 has had on our lives is changing the ways in which we get our food. From long lines at Trader Joe’s to unreliable food delivery, it has not been easy to find a safe way to bring food into our homes. However, grocery workers and food workers are risking their lives by being exposed to other people all day, and the sign in front of most grocery stores—“Heroes Work Here”—is not an understatement. 

Ordering food to be delivered to one’s house is one of the main ways people buy meals without the risk of going outside and being exposed to the virus. However, it isn’t always guaranteed that an item might be in stock due to the sheer amount of people ordering food online. According to sophomore Samay Nandwana, things aren’t always available when he orders from Instacart and Amazon Fresh. As for my own family, it can take many hours of searching through restaurant and farm websites to find the foodstuffs we are looking for. When all else fails, taking a trip to the grocery store is always an option, but people must take precautions, such as wearing face masks. Keeping social distancing protocol in mind at the grocery store is essential as well. 

One of the pressing questions people are asking is: do we need to disinfect our groceries after bringing them home? Obviously, this doesn’t mean putting detergent on one’s vegetables, but small things such as using disinfectant wipes to quickly clean grocery  bags can help stop the spread of COVID-19. My family orders from restaurant suppliers such as Baldor, Chef’s Warehouse, and North East Restaurant Direct, and it has become a habit for us to wipe down the boxes that the food comes in. Sophomore Jenny Fan orders food from Amazon and Shop-Rite and her family takes precautions in disinfecting groceries as well. Considering food workers are in contact with as many as 800 people per day, disinfecting groceries can be helpful in preventing the COVID-19 virus from coming into our homes. Food is one of the main outlets through which coronavirus can spread, which is why we should be cautious when handling food that has been in contact with many people before us.