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My 85 year old dad has asthma and has been sheltering safely at home two weeks ago since the COVID-19 pandemic. Grocery stores in his area are open for curbside pickup, but none seem to be offering delivery right now. I called one of the local large chains in his area, and their website is not processing orders. I do not believe him walking through the aisles among other shoppers is an option since he has pre-existing lung condition. Is it safe for him to order online, then drive to a curb side location and ask the workers to load the bags in the car? What is a good practice under these conditions? He is seriously scared to leave the house and even allow himself to be within 10 feet of anyone or handle bags others have touched. What do you think would be a good and safe approach?

Call Council on Aging in his area to see what others are doing. If he has delivery he can wear gloves to carry the bags inside and then wipe down items.

Same if he does curbside pick up. Place the groceries in the trunk. He won’t need to be close to the workers. Otherwise, wear a mask while they load up the car. The trunk option may reduce his anxiety some.

It is so unsettling. I have asthma and have been hospitalized for it in the past. It’s horrifying not being able to breathe.

I have been on breathing machines. I do have inhalers. I feel like your dad. I haven’t gone out. My husband has been going to the store.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Today in the mail we received a postcard from our city advising us of a city website and local hotline specifically for people who are isolated and need help during the crisis. Maybe his city has something set up as well? I would check his city's website for similar resources first.

Good luck and good health to you both!
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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When it comes to assessing risk I can't see any difference between curbside pick up, online shopping and hiring someone or having a neighbour/volunteer shop for you, all of them rely on the stores, warehouses and employees taking precautions.
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notgoodenough Mar 31, 2020
Oh my goodness, you are so 100% correct, and frankly, it's refreshing to hear! I am not trying to make light of anyone's fears, and I certainly understand the need for the vulnerable population to limit social contact, but people need to understand that, unless you're slaughtering your own meat, growing your own crops and grinding your own wheat, at some point someone has handled the items you're purchasing from the store.
For myself and my family, I feel safer and more confident getting my items myself. My thought process is this: people working for these private grocery delivery services are not independently wealthy people, they're low-paid hourly workers...the very people most likely to go to work when they're sick because they literally cannot afford not to.
If I were forced to rely on someone else, I would opt for the curbside pickup, where the store employees bring the items out. I figure the store manager has a vested interest in keeping sick workers home and out of the store; those employees are also more likely to be getting some form of pay when they're out sick, since most big chain stores by me seem to be providing some sort of sick pay to their employees.
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My mom is 93 and lives independently, and I've been doing a weekly grocery shop for her for years. But a week ago I told her I would stop this for awhile. I get a spring allergy and when I start to cough and sniffle I won't know initially if I'm sick or just getting my allergy.

I left mom with four options.

(1) delivery from her favorite grocery store. Discard the bags and wash hands thoroughly.

(2) sign up for a meal-delivery service. I signed up with Freshly and Schwan.

(3) order delivery from local restaurants.

(4) get Meals on Wheels delivered.

I heard a medical expert say we only need to worry about ingesting enough water and adequate calories during this critical time.

I don't think anything is 100% safe these days. I make choices that are "safer" and "smarter" and I'm willing to make sacrifices in favor of common sense. I am frustrated by the casual recklessness and selfishness in my family, my community, and in some of the threads here. Had to get that last part off my chest, LOL. Stay safe, everyone.
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Reply to MrsParker5
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jacobsonbob Mar 31, 2020
Do you find that if you cough or sniffle due to an allergy, people look at you as it they assume you have the coronavirus?
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Set up the online ordering if you can so you both have the login & password. Then you will be able to do it with him or for him. Agree with suggestion to call local council, church - hopefully a volunteer collection service for vulnerable people gets set up.

If only option is Dad going to collect he can call store before heading out (if they answer) & ask they bring it out. Pop the boot/trunk for staff to put in. That's what my Dad does. If not, wear mask to collect.

Once home, don't put the bags on the bench tops. Limit to one place on the floor (can wipe it later). I haven't started wiping down every tin but just being conscious about to where the bags & boxes go. But I do wash hands after unpacking & before eating every time.

He will still need to get some exercise, get some sunshine & air etc. Has he good a good veliable news source? So he gets the facts. That may help with the fear.

There is a real risk of depression for many. I Itart work early & see a few elderly people going for a walk at dawn. They are balancing their need to live & exercise but limiting their risk as much as possible by heading out when it's quiet.

It's great you are looking out for him & maybe you can call him more often. If he's tech savvy, a messenger/WhatsApp type app may be good to contact you & other rellies too.
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Reply to Beatty
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No to going in the store. Even curbside can be a problem unless Dad knows how to clean and store groceries, or to let them sit for at least three days (those not perishable). I would say Amazon.com for things that can be delivered. Many things cans, canned tomatoes, things like this. Anything you can do online. There are grits, there is polenta and pastas. Many things such as canned tuna, that can be lived on. Time to think out of the box best you can. Nothing will be completely safe but I would say not going out now, tho I don't know where you live. Call adult protective services, churches, anything you can think of in this area as to those who would shop for him. A lot of teens out of school might jump to do this, but how to contact????
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Hummer Mar 31, 2020
Even Amazon items may have been "contaminated" at some point. Our current practice is to bring packages in thru the garage. We open the box or package w/o touching our clothes, spray or wipe the inner wrapping/box down with a water/bleach solution (5 part water, 1 part bleach), open that packaging and dump our item on a "clean" surface. Wash hands then pick up the item & go on... A whole lot of nuisance but my own health issues make me vulnerable. We're able to have groceries delivered and do much the same. We leave outer packaging in the garage & place in trash later.
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I have been ordering what I can from Amazon & pick up locations, like Walmart curbside. I spray everything with lysol & put on gloves to put it up. Everything gets sprayed with lysol or washed, then set on the counter to dry. Items are brought inside to the table not the floor, that would be dangerous for older people bending over & losing balance. So table 1st, wash or spray, put on counter, clean table. I make sure to have enough for weeks, so I've only had to do this 1x. I have asthma too. My husband works outside the house as he is an essential employee, so I'm concerned. But trying best I can. I add what my parents need to my list.
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Reply to Laststanding
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Senior center in my are will shop for groceries and pick up medicine. Spoke with them recently and they know my niece and I are caring for my 97 year old mother. We will use the service in case of an emergency. I would give them a call to see if they can help you.
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Reply to earlybird
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Contact local places of worship, preferably wherever he goes. Most have folks that will deliver groceries.

Touching things will not give him the virus. It is putting his hands to his face afterwards. He should wipe the outsides of cans and boxes with a rag dipped in bleach water., The items can air dry or he can dry them with a clean towel before putting them away. If he has produce, it can be soaked in bleach water for a minute and then in cleat water for a minute before putting it away (Old missionary trick), Discard the bags. He should then clean the counters the bags were on. Lastly, wash his hands vigorously while singing "Happy Birthday" twice.

Produce bleach water is 1 spoonful of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Cleaning bleach water is 1/2 Cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Rinse with clear water afterwards for stone and metal surfaces.
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Reply to Taarna
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Bigsister7 Mar 31, 2020
I would not eat produce that has been soaked in bleach water. There are safer ways to clean food, like cooking in boiling water. Avoid the salad.
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He is right to avoid stores. We use Amazon Prime, Costco and Instacart for deliveries. You can also use DoorDash for local restaurants. Watch the video someone posted below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDuwc9KBps. This doctor Taught me how to handle containers. Very informative.
I am on Nextdoor and many people are offering to help others. Suggest you sign up there. Also call his town’s senior center and/or town hall to see what programs are set up to assist. Obviously you are not close by. Try to get more frozen and canned items so a shopping trip can last 3 weeks. If possible. Be safe everyone! ❤️🙏❤️
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Reply to janlee
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Hummer Mar 31, 2020
I am loving InstaCart! Surprising how many stores and pharmacies you can deliveries from.
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