Hundreds of stores have temporarily shut their doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, no longer allowing for in-store shopping. Like several other stores that shut down, Old Navy closed all its North American stores on Thursday, March 19 and will continue to pay and provide benefits to all employees during the company's temporary hiatus. Many retailers' online shops are still in service, however, including Old Navy, which is having a 50% off sitewide sale. The sale lasts until 11:59 p.m. PT on March 23 and includes free shipping on all purchases of $25 and more in the United States.
However, if you're understandably nervous to online shop, given the current climate, experts do say online shopping has become a necessary alternative while everyone socially distances — but only when really needed. "Online shopping is going to be a particularly important part of helping us keep that social distance while in our homes and to protect people who are most at risk of severe disease if they contract the virus," Elizabeth McGraw, professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, tells Elite Daily regarding whether or not online shopping is advised during COVID-19. "I would not stop online shopping, although I would certainly only order much needed products to reduce the impact on the system."
While Old Navy's major sale is an incentive to buy in bulk, it's crucial to limit your purchases to just the essentials and only when needed to keep orders less frequent, given the undeniable strain the novel coronavirus has had on delivery and distribution workers on the front lines. "Those working in the food and shipping supply chains are going to become essential workers, just like our doctors and nurses," says McGraw. "If these workers are taking precautions in their work place — wearing gloves, keeping safe distances from each other, and avoiding work when sick — they should reduce the chances of any infection."
Still, McGraw suggests additional precautions when dealing with packages, particularly since one 2020 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the coronavirus can remain on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on other surfaces for even longer. "When a package arrives, use gloves to handle it and also let is sit for three days before opening," she says. While there is not currently evidence of anyone contracting COVID-19 through packages or the mail, according to McGraw, it's also beneficial to opt for delivery options like bundling and contactless deliveries to potentially reduce the chances of infection and the impact on workers.
If you'd like to take advantage of Old Navy's 50% off sitewide sale, here are some items featured. (The 50% discount will be taken at checkout.)
We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.