Adventures in toilet paper shopping

Posted on April 21, 2020 by

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Here we go. Experts don’t want us to do into grocery stores.

“Careless customers” are “probably the biggest threat” to workers right now, according to Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ union. The union said 85% of its grocery store member workers reported that customers are not practicing social distancing in stores.

I find that to be true, to some extent. While the aisles are marked at my local Whole Foods Market, there are signs with arrows to point to one way shopping, I am not used to looking up at them. I also have to be aware of blue lines for six feet apart on the floor, large blue arrows, and a reminder to practice social distancing.  I am breathing through a mask, have on glasses, wear gloves and trying to be responsible for myself and others. It’s exhausting and I swear to myself I won’t be going there anytime soon. Until the next time.

That’s because I know where the products are I want to buy, the quickest way to navigate to them and get out. It’s not the stores fault, I am not used to the new normal yet. The cleaning aisle and paper products aisle are bare but I got the food products that can be frozen and loaded up on non high fructose corn syrup gingerale so I don’t have to go back so frequently.

While I am whining about the inconvenience, grocery store workers have died from COVID 19 and the case numbers here in Massachusetts have continued to rise.

My husband likes brand specific toilet tissue and didn’t care for the huge 36 roll of rough type of toilet paper I purchased was elated when he found his brand at one of our local BJ’s. “We have plenty”, the customer service rep told him.

So I hopped on to the highway and went to the next state which is 10 miles away. For the first time in the middle of an afternoon on a Tuesday since we have been had stay-at-home order, the highway had a fair amount of cars. I am wondering if people just want to see something besides the walls of their house.

I parked the car, put on my mask, gloves, and got the enormous shopping cart. I noticed that since we don’t have to wear masks or face coverings, some people still don’t. That was true in the parking lot in New Hampshire. Most did some didn’t.

I waited while the masked and gloved BJ’s employee wiped down my cart, handed me a wipe “for me” she said and as my heart raced had to find the toilet tissue my husband needed. I went to the wrong side of the store, had to follow the arrows to the other side of the store, and Eureka, I found it.

I plopped it in my cart, navigated to the front of the store, where the employee directed me to self check-out and mercifully scanned the huge roll so I didn’t have to put on the belt. Left the store, put the package in my car and drove home.

FDA wants assure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. What if the package handler is asymptomatic?

This whole trip would have been avoided if the online shopping services had been available. It gives many of us just as much angst to shop online only to find out there are no delivery times available until next week, two weeks or not at all. My supermarket of choice doesn’t have an online shopping option, which means I have to shop elsewhere if I don’t want to be exposed. (I was tested for COVID 19 and am negative).

Life in the new normal is exhausting…


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Posted in: Family safety