For weeks now, the only relief from that dreaded cabin fever is that of going to the grocery store. What once was considered mundane and boring is now touted as the number one boredom relief. This is because, despite all of the encouragement of social distancing, as well as the areas experiencing lockdowns, we all need food, and hence a trip to the grocery store.
However, what many do not realize is that now, three months into living with COVID-19 as part of our everyday lives, even grocery shopping can no longer maintain the charade of what was once normal. This being that more and more reports are indicating that our grocery store workers are coming down with the COVID-19 virus.
The good news is that at this time, the virus does not present as being very widespread amongst workers in the grocery industry. According to a report by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, only six of its workers nationally are currently known to have tested positive for the virus.
It had seemed for a while that grocery workers would be spared from COVID-19. However, with the increase in confirmed cases and the grocery store being the one primary source of gatherings, it would seem that the odds would eventually catch up.
The main concern, still, for those that are grocery shopping is those others around them. Although there is indeed that small segment of the population that does worry about receiving the virus through the handling of produce or even a box of Cheerios, health officials are standing fast to the fact that transmission is thought to be avoidable through food or its wrapping.
However, recent research has shown that the COVID-19 virus can remain on the cardboard packaging of food, as well as that of plastic, for several days. Then over time, it becomes less and less infectious. Angela Rasmussen, a Columbia University virologist, recommends that after touching any of the packagings that you thoroughly wash your hands.
Will the number of those in the grocery industry testing positive for COVID-19 soon see a spike?