Experts: ‘Senior Hours Could be Dangerous to Your Health’
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Locally, and nationwide, many retailers are offering hours set aside only for customers who are especially at risk to the novel coronavirus infection – seniors, immunocompromised, those with respiratory diseases, and others. The laudatory goal is to offer the most vulnerable population an opportunity to shop when it is less crowded and, because the hours are often the first couple of hours the store is open, a chance to obtain necessities before hoarders empty shelves. It looks like a great idea on first glance, but a review of a variety of public reporting reveals that some experts are warning it might be fraught with safety problems. Experts suggest that during special shopping hours, shoppers may not necessarily be less likely to be infected, and probably not more likely, either. But, congregating the most vulnerable all in one space could have disastrous impact on the group as a whole if only one store employee or shopper is sick and doesn’t know it. As we now know, infected individuals could be spreading the infection before they start to show symptoms. The common advice for those taking advantage of the special shopping hours is to be especially careful about following physical distancing and hygiene guidelines. While a safer option is to order online, not many stores offer that option and many times, if it involves an additional charge, many at-risk individuals are not in position to afford it. Senior and at-risk shoppers should follow the guidelines with particular care. Keep at least 6 feet away from others, wipe down the cart with a sanitizing wipe, use the self-checkout register, and avoid touching their face. At home, the grocery bags and all of the items in them should be disinfected with a sanitizing wipe before being brought into the house. Wash produce and hands thoroughly.
Local Senior Shopping Hours Aldi - Tues, Thurs, 8:30 to 9 am (updated 041920)
Ollie’s - Mon-Sat, 9-10 am, Sun 10-11 am Shoprite - Tues & Weds, 7-9 am
Walmart - Tues, 6-7 am Weiss - None