3/6/2020 by Chhavi Upadhyay
On 12 February 2020, the novel coronavirus was named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) while the disease associated with it is now referred to as COVID-19.
As of writing of this article, more than 100,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and around 200 in the US. We are concerned about the safety of our customers and our driving staff. In my opinion, by helping our customers stay out of busy stores where they could potentially contract the virus, our driving staff are currently doing an amazing service to our customers.
In lieu of this new threat, some tips to protect you and your loved ones, also please check Service Notices for this time.
Help our drivers with deliveries: Please avoid direct contact with our drivers (Our drivers are also following many precautions in addition to these):
- For customers in gated buildings (without gate code, or any other way to get in): We are training our drivers to drop the bags near the gate and wait for you to come and pickup.
- For all other customers where the drivers are able to reach your front door. We are instructing our drivers to drop the bags and ring the bell and leave.
- Do not panic/overreact. Over the past few weeks we have noticed an increased purchase for all kinds of groceries, potentially leading to future shortages. This cannot be said enough, please do not hoard stuff as it would result in shortages and wastage in the future. Furthermore, don't be racist and continue to help people who need help. We believe we do our part the spread will be contained if we all follow certain guidelines.
- Do not under-react. The pace at which the virus is growing and the current lack of testing in the US means that there are many among us with mild symptoms with the virus who are capable of spreading the disease.
- Use social media (Whatsapp/Facebook) carefully. Verify the sources of tall claims made on social media. Particularly do not forward messages; read and reinterpret and write yourself.
- Understand the risks. Personally I found this statistics link very informative. It helps to understand the progression of the virus for yourself. They have the latest update on whats going on. Last few days the growth rate of the virus has been 20-40% daily. Read a lot about this (from reputable sources).
- Avoid crowded places. Do not stand in lines, do not wait in places with crowds. Avoid Parties, Malls, Stores, Movie theaters, Public transportation (Yes sorry global warming), Conferences etc..
- Check with your office for directions on work-from-home.
Protect elderly and people with preexisting conditions. If you have elderly or people with pre-existing conditions at home take additional precautions. Pre existing conditions known to have highest risk are (there may be others please read further on this):
- Heart conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- High Blood Pressure
Help your family & friends understand the risks. Since you are going to interact/meet your friends over the next few weeks, help them understand the risks.
We run the AVOCADO service and we do grocery delivery so please do your own research before taking my word for this:
A big part of avoiding crowds is not going to stores, including grocery stores. Luckily there are many services that do it for you. We urge you to use these services to continue getting stuff. Again, do not hoard, just use these services regularly and spread the word so your friends are safe as well.
Above all please be safe.