Updated on 04/13/2020, 2:40 PM EST

During the global coronavirus pandemic, AmeriLife associates have stepped up and have been living our mission – to provide peace of mind and help people live longer, healthier lives.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

SHOPPING SAFELY
Grocery stores and pharmacies have been designated essential businesses, just as AmeriLife is also considered an essential business in providing clients financial services.

But shopping can make it difficult to practice safe social distancing measures, such as staying six feet away from others.

Is it safe to shop at a store? Are you better protected by ordering items online? Whether you buy your groceries in a store or online, Consumer Reports recommends these steps to help limit your exposure to the coronavirus.

Shopping online or in a store

Wash nonporous containers
While there is no current evidence that food packaging can transmit the coronavirus, the virus can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and on glass and stainless steel for 3 days. Touching those items, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes could transmit the disease.

To help prevent the spread of the virus, wipe down glass and plastic containers and metal cans with disinfecting wipes.

Most importantly, wash your hands thoroughly after putting away packages, including cardboard boxes.

Wash your hands, counter and other surfaces you touched
After putting away your groceries, wipe down all the surfaces you touched, then wash your hands.

Wash produce
According to James E. Rogers, Ph.D., Consumer Reports’ director of food safety research, the risk is low for contracting coronavirus from the food you eat.

However, washing your produce will remove pesticides.

Shopping online
Shopping online with grocery delivery services is a convenient resource if you don’t want to shop in crowds. While delivery services are promoting safety measures during the pandemic, there’s no guarantee the delivery person is taking the precautions to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

Avoid a direct hand-off
Have the delivery person place your groceries on the front step or outside your door.

Tip electronically
Ordering deliveries online or through an app gives you the opportunity to tip electronically, which eliminates the need to handle paper money.

Order earlier than you normally do
The higher demand for delivery services means you may need to wait longer for your order to be filled. In addition, the items you wanted may be out of stock later in the day or the week.

Shopping in a store
Health care professionals urge people to practice social distancing measures – being six feet away from others – when they need to shop in a store.

Go shopping at a time that’s less busy
Fewer people in the store gives you more room to maintain safe social distancing.

Wear a face covering
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued voluntary advice for people to wear non-medical face coverings when outside their homes. Wearing a face covering prevents you from spreading droplets if you are infected.

Take disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer with you
Wipe down your cart and sanitize your hands before and after you shop.

Use a credit or debit card
Using a credit or debit card eliminates the need to hand over paper money and change. Also, bring your own pen to sign receipts.

Click here to read more from Consumer Reports on safely shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.

CDC MASK RECOMMENDATIONS
The CDC is currently recommending that anyone going out in public wear a mask or face covering.

With surgical and N95 masks being reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, what are your options?

Look no further. We have some instructions for face masks that you can create in your free time.

Click here for CDC guidelines and instructions for how to make your own cloth face mask.

You can also click here for a short video from the CDC on how to make a simple no-sew face mask option in as little as 45 seconds.

More template and ideas:

  • Click here for instructions for making a simple no-sew face mask using a bandana.
  • Feeling a little more creative? Click here for a tutorial for sewing a simple face mask with scrap fabric and elastic.
  • Even if supplies are limited, consider things around the house such as scrap fabric, an old scarf, t-shirt, or sheets, as well as rubber bands, hair ties, elastic from an old sheet, or even ribbon to help hold your mask in place.

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