While the world attempts to control the rapid spread of COVID-19 during lockdown, many South Africans have set up temporary home offices (albeit the couch for now 😉) while others might have taken leave, spending the days chilling or finding creative ways to exercise… We all know that by honouring the lockdown restrictions, we exponentially improve our nation’s chance to avoid the spread of this highly contagious virus. However, if you need to leave the nest for a quick trip to the local supermarket, your doctor, the vet, or nearby pharmacy in search of essential goods and services – you’ll want to be prepared for this new, and hopefully temporary, world that awaits. We consider a few useful items to keep in your car that should come in handy on an ‘essentials venture’ undertaken over the lockdown period.
You’ll need to be kitted out before you enter any grocery store. Take the following along and follow the rules of the establishment you’re entering (right of admission is reserved, of course…):
- Face mask (here’s a few easy patterns to make your own)
- Disposable gloves (however, keep in mind the proper use of these and take special care when putting them on or taking them off – regular hand washing is also still key)
- Washable shopping bags
- Cooler bag with frozen ice packs (you might be held up in a roadblock afterwards and if you’re making multiple trips, even the drive-throughs for everyday grocery shopping might take its toll on frozen items already in the car)
- Bottle or container with water as well as liquid hand soap (to wash and rinse your hands if you don’t have hand sanitizer or disinfecting wet wipes on hand)
- Large hand sanitiser to refill the pocket-sized container you keep on your person
Remember to keep a distance of at least 2m from all others, wash your hands regularly while you’re out and about. When you’re back home, wash your reusable shopping bags and fabric mask properly and hang them outside in sunlight for 72 hours.
The transport, sale and purchase of alcohol and cigarettes are prohibited during lockdown, so be sure not to make yourself guilty of a criminal offence by unauthorised purchases or by driving around with these items in your car. “Movement of alcohol will be restricted. There shall be no movement of liquor from point A to B,” Police Minister, Bheki Cele, warned in an IOL article. “If we find liquor in your car’s boot,” he continued, “that is illegal. If you break these laws, you are six months in jail or fined.” One company slipped up recently and had their stock impounded and employees arrested. True, it was for moving R 13 million worth of liquor, but still, we encourage you to rather be safe than sorry. Don’t make court (or prison!) the new essential destination you have to visit when lockdown lifts.
Don’t forget to also do a regular check on your car’s ‘health’, especially because it might not do nearly as many kilometres during lockdown. It could be worth disconnecting the battery just in case if you plan on not driving around for an extended period of time. Remember to check that spare tyre and ensure that your car’s emergency tool and First Aid kits are stocked and up to standard.
Want to share your handy lockdown tips with us? We’d love to hear from you! Stay in touch (electronically 😉) by dropping us a post or message on our Facebook page.
Got a pet that needs a trip to the vet over the lockdown period? Here are some things you need to know before you go.