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Posts Tagged ‘grocery shopping’

Not “post- apocalyptic” as we are in the middle of the pandemic, or maybe still in the beginning, but being out certainly had the ominous feel of a bad post-apocalyptic film (ever see Zombieland, only we don’t have a shortage of Twinkies. Or maybe we do; I didn’t look).

There were aisles of empty shelves in every store I had to go to: canned goods, pre-made meals, paper towels, tissue, toilet paper, baby wipes… I didn’t look for hand sanitizers because I already had enough of those weeks ago. I could have used a package of TP, but we still have a week’s supply. My allergy-riddled sinuses screamed for tissues and I did score two small boxes of the precious nose-blowing material.

I went into the stores with latex gloves on. I keep them handy for certain art projects. No face mask as those are really only useful if you already have the virus and you’re trying to stop it from spreading to the people around you. A lot of people have this backwards or I shopped in a store with a lot of infected cashiers wearing masks. I did not go through their lines. I did note that most store employees wore latex gloves but scarcely any shoppers did. I don’t know what that says about people.

I did not touch my face once the entire time. I managed to not sneeze inside a store (in my car, yes). Hay fever was gracious to me today.

Some interesting takeaways: at a smaller chain store, they are refusing to allow you to bring in your reusable bags. This is interesting only in that our governor banned the use of  ‘single use plastic bags’ and mandated a five-cent per bag surcharge for any paper bags you need at checkout. Basically, this small chain is forcing you to pay the five cents or to carry everything out in your arms, Oregon style.

bags

Shoppers at the same store were less likely to distance themselves from everyone else, crowding the entrance. I grabbed the two items I went in for (no TP or tissue!) and got outta there.

It’s weird to watch cashiers and baggers sanitize everything between every customer, even yourself. Remember cooties? It’s like you have the cooties.

Most people have a “well, this is our new world and we’re going to smile anyway” attitude, but there were the odd grouches. No doubt they were completely out of toilet paper, in which case they may have had more success at a Plaid Pantry-type store than any of the major chains.

My biggest takeaway is how utterly bizarre shopping is right now. this is The Land of Plenty. The U.S.A. where we have grossly over-supplied the consumer with toothpaste flavors, strengths, colors, and brands. Where we sell generic and name-brand products side-by-side. Ten choices of rice. Twenty flavors of yogurt and at least ten brands of yogurt. Soap – the kind that comes in a bar – is not sold out, yet that is the one thing we’ve been told to use the most (I purchased a lot of soap from a crafter last summer and have plenty left).

We are utterly, woefully, underprepared should this pandemic run the long haul (which I think it will). We are utterly incapable of making do with what we’ve got. There are apparently a lot of people out there who think liters of soda pop are an essential to their survival. (Hm. Maybe the Twinkies ARE sold out.)

My last stop was to pick up my asthma medication. ASTHMA. That puts me right up in the “most-likely-to-die-from” category, compounded with my “advanced” age (hey, when did being over 60 qualify me to be called “elderly”? I resemble that!). Asthma meds are essential to my survival (believe me, you do not want to experience the horror of not being able to breathe that this novel coronavirus can cause. Asthma has its own risks and not being able to breathe is right up there). Anyway, the reason I went shopping today is because I don’t want my husband to see how much a two-month supply of a stabilizer inhaler costs – with insurance. He’d die of sticker shock.

In the pharmacy line where the other customers aren’t practicing a cool six feet of distancing.

bubble

I like social distancing. My “personal bubble” is about six feet around. I want to throat punch people who crowd me when we’re not on a lock down. Imagine how I felt today with my latex gloves. Hi-YAH! (No wonder the pharmacist’s assistant was grouchy. Not only does she have an essential job, but she deals with idiots all day long.)

I am finally home and safe in my own little world. My husband ranted over the lack of toilet paper, but – honestly – we have 12 rolls left. It’s not the end of the world as we know it. Yet. There are alternatives and I don’t know why that bugs him: I do the laundry. He cooks, I do laundry.

I leave you with this by REM:

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