Cathy Austin September’20

Covid-19 Shopping Woes

By Cathy Austin
So far, I’ve discovered the items the medical profs tell us to use i.e. disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, masks, etc. are all in short supply, nonexistent or available in bursts at your local grocers or online.

If you see it, get it regardless if on a shopping list…Just. Get. It.
Toilet paper is now plentiful but unnecessary for this particular virus.

So far, three weeks in to the hubby and me shopping for ourselves (neighbours and family had been doing it weekly), I’ve discovered no one follows the arrows, people are side by side in the same aisle, going the right way or wrong way, people are up your butt at the checkout (plexiglass is a tad short in protecting the cashier, tapping WAY better than using your chip, 2/3 times no one cleaned our cart handles on entry and there were no sanitation stations anywhere and in the produce section, everyone goes willy nilly, no directionals…and this is why, today, I came home with no celery or zucchini! A bulge of shoppers around 3 bunks!

Masks? Saw more today than last two weeks but, sadly, following footsteps on the floor or arrows is way beyond everyone’s comprehension level. When masks become THE required thing indoors, what the heck are all these folks going to do?

So far, grocery day for us is an event. Two bundle buggies (we don’t drive), two shopping carts (two families, eh?), two lists. Masks on, gloves on. We get in, get our stuff, get in line, meet up outside. Bundle up, walk home. Unload, wipe everything down then disperse to wherever stuff needs to go. Exhausting. Wash hands, wipe down counters before and after, change clothes. Done for another week!

So far, in light of recent naughtiness at Cherry Beach and the move into Phase or Stage 2 for Toronto, we’ve begun to stock up on tin foods (long exp date) and frozen goods for our household of two. Why? Because more naughty behavior where rules meant to keep us all safe will be stretched and broken and those in charge will lock it down if need be.

If we learned one thing from all our years in retail it is ‘expect the unexpected’. Same goes for Covid-19. Each new day could morph into another no-go period in our lives. Best be prepared, pantry-wise, for starters!

Lastly, PATIENCE. Pack it along with masks and gloves. And smile. No one can see yours but it helps make the shopping experience better