As co-operators, we subscribe to a set of values and principles – and during this crisis it is all the more important that we put them to good use in our daily lives. Collectively, our behaviour can create a tangible change – especially for the retail staff on the frontline of keeping our communities fed and safe.
1. Wash your hands before you go shopping.
This is so obvious, but so easy to forget. Washing your hands before you go out to do your shop is the best way to kill the virus if it is on your hands. You’re protecting yourself, but also protecting the community and the shop staff.
2. Try and keep your distance while queuing.
As per official medical advice, maintain your distance from people while queuing. This minimises the risk posed to yourself and other people in the store. Don’t worry – you’re not being antisocial!
3. Embrace contactless payments if you’re able.
The transmission of the virus may be far more easily spread by people passing cash to the cashier, so if you’re able now more than ever is the moment to go cashless. Contactless payments will minimise the exposure cashiers face of contracting the virus and ultimately protecting the community from risk.
4. Mind your Ps and Qs!
In this stressful time the brunt of the work has fallen onto hardworking, often tired store employees. They’re doing the best they can and if we can say please and thank you. If we can make their lives just that little easier we can defeat coronavirus together.
5. Just buy what you need.
Buying the essentials during this period is absolutely what we ought to be doing now, but as shop shelves deplete we really need to mind our actions, and minimise the impact your weekly shop has on other people. Buying 40 toilet rolls in the event of doomsday scenario isn’t helpful and leads to others, who may be in greater need, not being able to purchase the basics. When shoppers panic buy large quantities of something, it puts shopworkers in a difficult position. Confronting stockpiling and saying ‘no’ to shoppers buying more than their fair share causes stress and unnecessary conflict.
6. Think of your neighbours.
So often we go about our daily lives, headphones in, eyes down, living as an isolated unit. The vast majority of us have neighbours, some who might be self isolating, elderly or immuno-compromised. You could put a note through their door or pick up the phone to see if they need help setting up an online food delivery order, picking up food from the shops, or collecting prescriptions. Or you could donate food or money to your local foodbank who are experiencing unprecedented demand. The more we can help our local communities the better we can respond to the challenges ahead in the spirit of cooperation.