Ways to Shop Safely During A Pandemic

Bridget Levesque, Features Editor

With the holidays quickly approaching, many people find themselves in need of a quick, easy way to purchase gifts for their family and friends. Due to COVID-19 safety regulations, certain stores have temporarily shut down, and many people don’t feel comfortable visiting stores that are still in operation; many people can’t, due to contracting COVID-19 or other seasonal illnesses. Online shopping provides a simple, contact-free way to order gifts for friends and family. 


Amazon.com has always been popular due to its convenience. With a few taps and swipes, you could have an entire cart full of gifts, ready to ship to your door within the next few days. While using Amazon is many shoppers go-to method, there are alternatives if one doesn’t support the corporation.

Etsy.com, for example, is a wonderful way to find very niche goods and support small businesses. Many items listed on Etsy aren’t even sold by a business, in a professional sense — it could be a little old woman from Canada who just likes to knit sweaters. Another woman makes Harry Potter wands from scratch with real wood for only $10. Etsy has always been a very quirky marketplace, where you’re able to select unique gifts that creators have put a lot of effort into. 

Speaking of unique gifts, there are several small businesses in our area that have amassed great losses due to the pandemic. If it isn’t safe for you to visit the shops in person, many offer a curbside pick-up option. Here in Vienna, a small bookstore called Bard’s Alley (that also has lots of cute knick knacks) allows you to order items online and pick them up that day, or schedule a later pick-up time. Many businesses operate similarly, doing their best to make their transactions as simple as possible. 

If you are able to go out into the public, be sure to wear a mask, maintain social distance, and carry a pocket hand sanitizer. If all else fails, toilet paper and other sanitary materials could make a great Christmas present.