How are you going to shop during this Ramadan? Is it better to order groceries online or go to the nearby store? These questions might have been a no-brainer for most of us until a couple of months ago. However, due to the on-going COVID-19 virus pandemic globally, a large number of Muslims are forced to change their shopping habits. Public health experts, as well as the governments in most countries, have been insisting on people to follow strict social distancing rules to stem the spread of COVID-19.
How Are You Going To Shop During Ramadan?
As a result of this global health crisis, many Muslims along with people from other denominations in their respective communities, have been ordering grocery and other essentials online instead of physically visiting grocery stores.
Global Muslim Buying Patterns
In minority-Muslim countries like Japan, and the US, the UK, many halal food shops already have online stores. Many people order their halal food items such as rice and halal meat etc., from these halal food stores on the telephone instead of taking the trouble to fill out an order form online on these websites.
Online grocery shopping has also gained traction among Muslims in South East Asian countries. Marketplaces such as B-Halal have sprung up recently to cater to the growing needs of Muslim consumers during and after Ramadan.
According to a recent news report on the Pakistani media outlets this week, the number of people shopping grocery and other food items and essentials online has seen a sudden surge of 18% during the past six weeks.
Benefits of Ordering Food Items Online
Online delivery services dramatically reduce your contact with other people: you pay online which is good for your health as well as the health of your family members. The food is packaged elsewhere and it is left outside your door. Simple as that. By ordering grocery and other items, you could also save your precious time to perform your prayers and do other more important jobs while sitting in the comfort of your home.
Is Ordering Online For Everybody?
There is no doubt that ordering halal food online especially, during Ramadan, is a better option these days due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. However, the situation may not be the same in other parts of the world. Many people including Muslims, as well, have no choice but to visit a grocery store in person. So, how should you prepare yourself if you are one such person?
Precautions Take While Visiting A Store
Your primary concern should be to protect yourself when you go for shopping outdoors. Maintain a safe distance of about two meters or more from another person. Avoid going to overcrowded shops at all costs. Or, at least, wait for most of the people to leave the store before you set your foot inside.
You may also want to shop at a store that is already following the social distancing rule. In Japan and many other countries, some shopping malls and hospitals follow the rule strictly. Health care professionals urge people to clean off their groceries before putting in the refrigerator.
You should also leave your kids and other family members at home while going for shopping. Place your raw food in a bag to prevent direct contact with the cart or a basket you are using inside the store. Wash your hands and face properly after coming back from the store.
Many stores in Japan and many other countries offer self-service checkout counters where you could reduce the chance of contact with a cashier.
So, in general, we would advise Muslim brothers and sisters to order their groceries online if possible. If that is not practical for you, try to buy bigger quantities of groceries so that you do not have to go outside during Ramadan.
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