Here’s how you can stay healthy when you're picking up your groceries

Dr. Zain Chagla breaks down the virus and what you can do to protect yourself.
Published March 18, 2020 10:21 a.m. EST
Last Updated March 25, 2020 7:23 a.m. EST
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The information provided on the show is for general information purposes only. If you have a health problem, medical emergency, or a general health question, you should contact a physician or other qualified health care provider for consultation, diagnosis and/or treatment. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-diagnosis or treatment based on anything you have seen on the show.There are still a lot of questions surrounding the new COVID-19 pandemic as people figure out just how to react and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. While social distancing and self-isolation have become commonplace, many people are wondering how they can partake in regular tasks, like grocery shopping, without putting themselves at risk of contracting the disease. Dr. Zain Chagla revealed some easy tips that everyone can do to keep themselves safe while stocking up on supplies and more. Check them out below, and watch the video above for more information.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM COVID-19?

It is very dependent on who is affected and how ill they get, Dr. Zain says.  For mild symptoms, it can clear within a week. For moderate symptoms where the person might end up hospitalized, it could take 14 days. For severe symptoms, it could be longer. You can find more information about symptoms on the Health Canada website.With the people who have recovered, they were tested at intervals and typically recovered within a week. You should always consult public health agencies. It's better to wait a bit longer and be fully recovered, then go out and put others at risk

HOW TO SAFELY SHOP FOR GROCERIES

Go at quiet times of the day to minimize your exposure risk. Make sure you are maintaining that social distance of two metres. If someone tries to stand in front of you just politely point out there is a queue and you are in it. Everything is handled by others in a grocery store. It is a high touch surface. The cans, the boxes, the shelves, they have all been touched hundreds of times. Do not touch your face in a grocery store! Make sure to regularly wash your hands, before, during, and after shopping. If you touch anything, do not touch your face until your hands are clean again. Having gloves doesn’t necessarily protect you. If you touch a banana and then touch your face wearing gloves, you’ve still passed those germs to your face. Wipe down the shopping cart if possible. If not, don’t touch your face after.[video_embed id='1924127']RELATED: How to stop touching your face[/video_embed]

DROPLET VIRUS VS. AIRBORNE VIRUS

When planes are notifying people about contamination, they notify the immediate rows around them. The droplets from this virus are very dense, gravity drops them to the ground so the airplane recirculates air but they’re too heavy to be sucked up by the air vents. Instead, picture a two metre circle around the infected person, anywhere within that the droplets could have fallen or touched. With an airborne disease like TB, the droplets of infection are so tiny they stay in the air, which is a big problem. However, COVID-19 droplets are too heavy to do that.

HOW LONG WILL SOCIAL DISTANCING LAST?

Everyone is asking this, and we still don’t know the answer. We’re lucky in that we are a few weeks behind Europe so can see when Italy might change its rules. Canada will likely still see an increase in cases. People are still getting symptoms over the next few days.

WILL COVID-19 RETURN EVERY YEAR?

We know there are at least four coronaviruses that circulate every year, although they’re not as strong as this. Technically, this type of coronavirus could become established within the population. But in Wuhan, there are less than ten cases a day being reported, which suggests it doesn’t re-emerge. So long as we keep these efforts up, we should see a drop off in the summer. There is a possibility this comes back next winter but by then, it should be less intense if people catch it. Keep in mind there are clinical trials on drugs and treatments going on right now. Even if we do not have a vaccine this time around, by this time next year even if it re-emerged, we will be better equipped to treat it, if not cure it.[video_embed id='1924108']BEFORE YOU GO: How will COVID-19 come to an end?[/video_embed]