With COVID-19 in the picture, the current times are undeniably tough. For this reason, most marketplaces have been closed. But since some are still open, it is important to observe the appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while shopping. The Coronavirus can be transmitted when an infected person talks, breathes or sneezes thus releasing germs into the air.
Since people can have COVID-19 and feel healthy, it is crucial for shoppers to observe the guidelines recommended by local authorities such as wearing snug-fitting masks, observing social distancing of at least two meters (or a bit more than two arm’s length), and regularly washing hands with soap and water. This video entitled, “How to Shop Safely in The Marketplace During The Coronavirus” provides some of the precautions to consider to limit the spread of the disease and keep your marketplace safe and healthy. The informative animations are created by the Scientific Animations Without Borders Responsive Adaptive Participatory Information Dissemination Program (SAWBO RAPID).
SAWBO RAPID is a project of SAWBO. The SAWBO RAPID project identifies critical food security topics and delivers knowledge through the development of animations to mitigate COVID-19’s secondary economic impacts, including disruption to trade, supply chains and markets. The project is based at Michigan State University and Purdue University in the U.S. and funded by USAID Washington under the Feed the Future initiative and is supported by the USAID Kenya Mission. SAWBO has been creating animations and delivering knowledge globally for over a decade. The SAWBO library contains over 1,000 animations on 100+ different topics in over 200 language variants reaching over 45 million known viewers. Visit the SAWBO website for more information.
Tips for staying safe in the marketplace, as detailed in the animation:
- Plan Ahead
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus is by planning what to buy in advance. Although this might seem quite insignificant, it is hugely important. Coming up with a list of the items to buy reduces the time spent in the market thus preventing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the marketplace. Also, shoppers should remember to choose a time to shop when the market is less busy.
- Stay Home if You Feel Sick
One can be unknowingly infected by the Coronavirus. Therefore, if buyers feel mildly sick or feverish before going to the marketplace, they should not go to the market. Other household members who feel sick should also be discouraged from going to the market at all costs. It is best if anyone in your household is sick that you stay away from the market. This will hugely reduce the chances of spreading the virus. Alternatively, sick shoppers can request a friend or neighbor to purchase the market items on their behalf.
- Properly Wear Snug Fitting Masks
While purchasing products, shoppers should always remember to properly wear clean snug-fitting masks. When it comes to masks, remember that effective masks should have adjustable ties or ear loops. Masks should also completely cover the nose and mouth (without any gaps) to prevent the entry of the virus or exit of the virus into the air. Additionally, shoppers should also be sure to talk with masks on to prevent the spread of the virus. They should avoid removing masks even if they want to be heard easily.
For masks to work effectively, they must be worn properly. The SAWBO RAPID video Properly using facemasks explains how to wear masks well to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please go ahead and watch the video, download it, and freely circulate it on Facebook pages, WhatsApp groups, Bluetooth, Xender, and other relevant social media platforms. In the video, you’ll learn about recommended face masks and how to properly wear and care for them. This will offer much in the way of keeping your communities and families safe.
- Leave Children at Home if Possible
Children are prone to contracting the Coronavirus. So, buyers should avoid going to the marketplace with children. If your children can be taken care of elsewhere, it is prudent to leave them behind to reduce the risks of spreading the disease and keep them safe.
- Avoid Touching Food Items and Utensils
When shopping around the marketplace, shoppers should avoid touching food items and utensils. Instead, only the vendors should be allowed to touch food items and utensils. Shopping should be done by looking around in order to avoid unnecessary touching of items. Besides touching, shoppers should also avoid eating things in the marketplace. Although this seems difficult, it is the safest marketplace practice.
- Social Distancing
Social distancing is also an essential safe practice in the marketplace. Maintaining a distance of two meters, (or a bit more than two arm’s length) offers much in reducing the exposure to the Coronavirus. Shoppers should also refrain from greeting others with hugs or handshakes to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Wash Hands Regularly
The idea of washing hands regularly is a hugely important practice. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water offers much in the way of eliminating germs. After washing hands, a paper towel should be used (if possible) to turn off the tap. If water and soap are not available, hand sanitizers can be used. Market leaders should provide the market with cleaning and sanitizing materials.
Amid the pandemic, it is important for shoppers to observe the aforementioned guidelines to prevent the risk of spreading the virus. That way, the community will be safe and sound and eventually reduce the spread of the dangerous virus.
The MARKETPLACE ANIMATION GUIDELINES FOR SAWBO RAPID providing direction for individuals like vendors and shoppers are available in 36 languages. Please watch, download and share this video by sharing the link on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Marketplace – Vendor
Marketplace – Shopper
Marketplace – Leader
Note: The information and content in the video (content) should not substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any kind. Michigan State University, Purdue University, and SAWBO disclaims responsibility or liability for any loss or injury that may be incurred as a result of the use of any content included in the video. Viewers and users of the video should always consult a physician or other professional for diagnosis, treatment and/or advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the content of this video.
SAWBO RAPID is funded through a grant from Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. This blog article was made possible through support provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development under the terms of agreement no. 7200AA20LA00002. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International development or the U.S. government.