Even as restrictions on going outside ease, you still have to protect yourself during the pandemic for as long as it lasts.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press comes this good advice for staying safe when going out for essential errands:


Grocery shopping. Wear a face mask and gloves. Carry disinfectant wipes to clean off carts, display cases, door handles, credit card readers, and everything else you touch. Stay 6 feet away or more from other people. Shop early in the morning when there are fewer crowds, and keep your trip as short as you can.


Gas stations. You’ll have to fill up your tank eventually. Wear gloves and bring disinfectant wipes for the pump handle and card reader. Don’t go into the store if you can avoid it. Wear your mask at all times.


The bank. Similar precautions apply — mask, gloves, and wipes for door handles and ATMs. Keep your visit as brief as possible. Use the ATM as much as you can to avoid face-to-face contact.


Pharmacies. Call ahead to get your prescriptions refilled so you don’t have to wait around, and call to confirm that they’re ready before you head out. Use the drive-through window if it’s available.


Service calls. If you need an appliance repaired, talk to the company in advance about the steps they’re taking to keep you and their technicians safe. If a technician shows up without a mask and other protective gear, don’t let them in. Tell them you’ll reschedule the appointment.

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