If you’ve even glanced at the news lately, you’ve probably heard that the number of COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the United States. This means it’s especially important for older adults and anyone who has a chronic condition like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes to take preventive measures against getting sick. COVID-19, more commonly known as novel coronavirus or simply as coronavirus, spreads rapidly, and outbreaks may last for quite some time. For people with weakened immune systems, the virus can be extra dangerous.
The Center for Disease Control has outlined a number of steps you can take to stay healthy and limit the spread. The most important steps include
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. (If you’re not sure how long twenty seconds is, try singing the chorus of your favorite song or “Happy Birthday” twice.)
- Hand sanitizer will also work—as long as it’s at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching face, nose, and eyes
- Clean and disinfect your home, especially frequently touched surfaces
- Avoid crowds, and keep a distance of at least six feet from others when possible
Many people are also practicing social distancing—staying inside as much as possible in an effort to prevent contracting or spreading the virus. This may be a vital step for older people, but it can also be incredibly lonely. Plus, this also makes it difficult to get any supplies you need.
Fortunately, there are a number of services you can take advantage of that will deliver supplies right to your door so you don’t have to risk catching a nasty virus. Here’s where to get food and other essentials.
Dry Goods and Home Essentials
Formerly Google Express, Google Shopping is essentially an online marketplace of retailers. At Shopping.Google.com, you can order just about any supplies you need from tons of retailers. Get health and beauty supplies from retailers like The Vitamin Shoppe and dry goods from stores like Target. Google Shopping makes it easy to compare prices, and if you meet the per-store minimum (typically $25-$35) your order ships free.
Fresh Produce and Other Groceries
Retailers and marketplaces may have pantry items, but you probably won’t be able to get fresh produce. Online services like FreshDirect and InstaCart allow you to order groceries online and get them delivered right to your door. Walmart has a similar program that’s available in 46 states. You can check whether you’re eligible for grocery delivery services at Walmart’s website. Plus, these services offer free trials and discounts for first time users, making them a great option if you’re holed up at home.
Communication and Interaction
It’s important to stay connected. All too often social distancing turns into social isolation. Make time every day or two to chat with friends and loved ones over the phone. If you have Facetime, try getting some, well, face time with them too. If you don’t have Facetime, you can use Google Hangouts or Skype for free.