By now, we are all aware of basic hygiene requirements like washing our hands with soap (for 30+ secs) or the need to use hand sanitizers before touching ones eyes, nose and mouth. These are fundamental to try and avoid being infected by the novel corona virus. Social distance to avoid spreading the virus is another key aspect of controlling this pandemic and is being enforced at various levels. This is good news. But there are some other key aspects that one should be aware of.
Shopping for essential requirements like Groceries, Vegetables & Fruits, Ordering food & fuel purchases etc. are unavoidable and fundamental requirements for everyone. And more often than not we make use of cash (currency in form of bank notes or coins) for these essentials. But needs caution as WHO indicates here https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/02/exclusive-dirty-banknotes-may-spreading-coronavirus-world-health/.
2 key things to note here are:
i) Cash changes hands frequently and tracking is practically impossible
ii) Covid-19 Virus can stay active on surfaces for several hours
Thus using currency notes increases the risk of exposure to viral contamination. As already indicated, WHO also has recommended caution while China is disinfecting banknotes (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/17/coronavirus-china-disinfects-cash-in-a-bid-to-stop-virus-spreading.html)
So what do we go about making purchases for our daily needs?
Practically every one of us has Debit Cards these days and many of us use Credit Cards as well. Payment via cards is relatively safer than currency notes or coins. While using currency notes or coins, you have absolutely no idea regarding who may have handled it prior to you. Worse still, sanitization of currency notes is not easily possible. Card usage has the following benefits compared to currency notes:
1. Cards do not change hands and do not hop wallets
2. One can sanitize cards easily using cotton and hand sanitizer post usage
3. Contactless cards can prevent any kind of touch for payments, making them much safer
4. Cards can be used to link wallets for digital payments
5. In addition to that, cards offer significant discounts on shopping
And now we have India’s first Mobile App named RUSSH (downloadable FREE at https://www.russh.in/russhapp) , that lets you find all discounts available on your debit and credit cards in a user friendly manner! Do take advantage of it.
It simply makes more sense to put your debit and credit cards or digital payment methods to good use during these trying times and help prevent spreading the pandemic.
Do Take care and stay safe. RUSSH Team