Manitoba grocery clerk solves mystery of how to open produce bags amid coronavirus

A grocery store worker in Manitoba has answered a question thousands of us have been apparently asking ourselves since COVID-19 arrived in March, drastically changing how we shop for groceries.

After donning a mask, sanitizing our hands and shopping cart, keeping a safe distance from fellow shoppers, and carefully making sure not to put our hands anywhere near our faces, it happens: we arrive at the fruits and vegetable section to find those clingy, clear produce bags with both sides stubbornly stuck together.

Read more: Coronavirus: Food prices to rise across Canada as COVID-19 pandemic continues

How, we scream silently to ourselves, are we supposed to open the bags without risking it all, removing our masks and licking our fingers?

The answer, it appears, has been in our hands the whole time.

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“So here’s a trick to open your produce bags without licking your finger,” says the anonymous employee from a Sobeys in Brandon in a short video that has gone on to be viewed more than 4,600 times since it was posted to the store’s Twitter account Nov. 9.

“Take the end you’re supposed to open … put it between your palms, rub it really hard, and the static opens it every, single, time.”

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As promised, the bag easily opens in the man’s hands.

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Grateful reactions to the unknown hero’s simple grocery-store hack came quickly in the tweet’s replies.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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