Michigan doctor Jeffrey VanWingen posted a 13-minute video on safe grocery shopping in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday. By Thursday morning it had racked up nearly 4.5 million views. The Grand Rapids doctor begins by painting a picture of how you should think about the coronavirus: like glitter that's all over your groceries. "Your goal at the end of this is to not have any glitter in your house, on your hands, or especially on your face." And with the National Institutes of Health finding the virus can live on cardboard for a day and plastic and metal for three, how to best protect ourselves from that "glitter" while grocery shopping—which he says no one over 60 should be doing right now? For starters, leave your food outside for three days if you can.
VanWingen suggests just leaving groceries in your trunk, garage, or back porch. If that's not possible, he demonstrates a surgical sterilization technique that can be put to use for this purpose, per MLive.com: You'll want to sanitize a table and divide it in two, one side for the groceries you've brought in and the other to transfer them to once they're sanitized. Use a household disinfectant spray or wipe on the exterior of plastic, metal, and glass packaging. Get rid of that outer packaging when possible (i.e., put your slices of bread or pretzels into a plastic container, take bag of cereal out of the box and toss the box). Fruits and vegetables should be submerged in soapy water and then individually scrubbed for 20 seconds. If this all sounds ... involved, VanWingen gets that. "But, in truth, these days people do have a bit more time on their hands." Watch the full video for his tips on takeout safety. (Read more coronavirus stories.)