Static electric shock upon OPENING my vehicle's hathback (entering the vehicle, not exiting)

Hi. I have a 2011 Honda Fit. I love my car, but every time I touch the hatchback latch to open the vehicle I get a huge shock. For various reasons, no car will ever see the inside of our garage. Because we live in Arizona, which is brutal on paint, plastic, rubber, and every other kind of material, we keep car covers on our vehicles in the driveway. The humidity here is often in the single digits. Here’s what happens - before I get in my car, I roll up my car cover, then hit the unlock button on my key chain and then reach over to unlatch my hatchback. Then… ZAP!!! How can I discharge the static electricity BEFORE I touch my car? Is there any way I can avoid getting shocked? Thanks. Frazzled in Arizona

You are creating all that static from rolling up the car cover. Either quit using it or get one with different material. If you ground yourself to the car by simply touching a metal part of the car whille you are rolling it up, that should help to reduce the discharge. When it starts getting cooler here in Minnesota, I regularly just put my arm on my door frame when I’m getting out to discharge the static.

I had the same problem with a Ford Explorer and fastened a metal chain, long enough to touch the ground, around the car’s frame (you can use an S-loop and crimp it down with a set of pliers). You may have to experiment with various positions to find a good ground, but this is easy to do. It seemed to work well in a 15% humidity environment. When the static discharge returned, I knew the metal had worn down and needed replacement. Hope this works for you, too.
You’ll get some sparking so I’d try to put the chain away from the fuel system. Probably not a big deal but you never know.
When this happens in wintertime, offer it up for all the souls up North in the snow.

since you already have the key in your hand, make sure you’re touching the metal part of the key, and with its tip touch a metal, unpainted part on the car’s body. Granted, it will not be easy in this particular car, which as I can see does not have a keyhole on the rear door… maybe you can touch the tailpipe (careful, it can get hot).

You could try a grounding strap.