In pre-coronavirus times, a trip to the shopping centre brought with it the risk of bumping into someone you know.
Painful small talk, the awkward shuffling of groceries from one hand to the other, and the false promise of meeting up soon for that long-overdue coffee – I don’t miss it.
Now, of course, a trip to the mall or shopping centre brings with it the risk of something far more dangerous, and I usually try and time my shopping escapades for when I think the least people will be around.
That’s based on zero data and sheer guesswork, which is why the ShopSafe app looks like it will be really useful.
The website, launched by data analytics company Lightstone in partnership with Tracker, is available on both desktop and mobile.
More from BusinessTech:
Lightstone said that the website application is mobile friendly and uses geo-location to identify your closest shopping centres. It then provides a comprehensive analysis on the number of visits each hour of a seven day week, to help you to find the least busy time to shop.
This data is updated weekly, to reflect changing dynamics and is aimed at minimising the Covid-19-related risks consumers are faced with when visiting high-density shopping centres,
The app uses Tracker’s aggregated and anonymised data and includes around 1,300 shopping centres from across South Africa.
To find the shopping mall you shop at, head to the website and allow the site to identify your location. If you would prefer not to use that method, you can enter your latitude and longitude, or select the mall from the drop-down list.
I chose Gardens Centre using the latter, and selected Wednesday to see what today look like:
Looks like 10AM to 11AM is the golden hour to avoid people.
If I switch the day to Thursday, I get this:
That huge spike is from 2PM to 3PM, and this time the 11AM to midday slot looks decent.
Who’s up for a wild weekend ride? Let’s get dangerous and see what Saturday looks like, focusing on the first half of the day:
They say the early bird catches the worm, but on weekends they catch the ‘rona.
We joke, but you get the point.
If you want to dabble and tinker and select the mall or shopping centre closest to you, do so here.
There is no harm in ensuring you minimise your risk, both of exposure to the coronavirus and chance meetings with people you aren’t keen on seeing, when you have to head to the shops.
[imagesource:youtube/screenshot] Theresia Nyirakajumba has lived through World War I, I...
[imagesource:thesexpo] The Cape Town leg of the 2023 Sexpo is taking place this weekend...
[imagesource:instagram] You're hardly a true Saffa if you haven't anxiously demanded th...
[imagesource:twitter/azfamily] A sicko self-described as the "Zombie Hunter", who would...
[imagesource:wikimedia] The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has hit out at Takelot f...