Grocery workers are beginning to die of coronavirus and I am scared to grocery shop

Posted on April 7, 2020 by


My daughter sent me the article from the Washington Post about grocery workers dying and said, “Did you see this?”. Of course I did. I follow the news cycles.

This morning I had to do some grocery shopping with much trepidation and it was goal to get in and out of the stores as quick as possible. I went during those hours that reserved with people who have compromised immune systems or are elderly.

Stop & Shop had blue tape on the floor everywhere instructing shoppers to go up and down the aisles one way much like a one-way street. I knew what I needed so it was easy but surreal.  There was plenty of produce but as expected the sanitizer products were scarce.  The employees were masked and helpful. The price of eggs is staggering but at least they had eggs.

Peapod, Stop & Shop’s delivery service is several days out.

Checking out with the plexiglass separating me from the cashier and the lines separating customers is good protection for them and shoppers but my cashier did not wear a mask. Masks are not mandatory in Massachusetts.

Whole Foods was my last stop. I had to wait until the store opened at 8AM. The line to get in stretched around the parking lot with masked people, some with bandanas, and some with gloves. There was social distancing  banter about Market Basket, the long lines there and how long the virus was going to last. A woman standing in the parking lot said, “Can you believe this? I have never seen anything like this.” Which is the unsaid truth today in America. The disbelief of going to the supermarket can be a question of getting COVID 19 and potentially dying.

The people practiced social distancing which explained the long line. People were getting semi-agitated about the wait and why the store was opening earlier.

The entering process was orderly, the store manager asked for my year of birth and I felt like I was buying alcohol and needed to show my ID.  When I looked at the clerk who told me they carded everyone.

This time giving my year of birth to the manager at Whole Foods made me feel like I was in a protected class, which I was. Nonetheless, I got what needed with much haste and got to the check-out and had to wait for the cashier to wipe down the belt and asked why she wasn’t wearing a mask. “Allergies”, she said.

My daughter said if I wanted to order food from Amazon, I could because time slots may open up later in the evening.

I have wasted many hours trying to order food for curbside pick-up or home delivery and the websites tell me to try later or no slots open now or even two days from now. That is why I went out in the first place.

I can understand why people buy more than they need. No one wants to have an in-person shopping experience in the foreseeable future and it’s scary.

I came home, washed my hands, and wiped down the food, my counters, the car’s steering wheels, the door handles, the door knobs and collapsed. The new normal.

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Posted in: Family safety