Scenes from Shopping This Weekend

This weekend I did a few errands. In general I try not to shop more than once every 10 days or so, and only go to one store. But after nine weeks at home, we had a few other needs and needed to go to a few places, so I sucked it up and did so.

And man, is there ever a weird combination of stuff happening out there right now.

Ever since the Ontario government announced limited lifting of the restrictions starting this past weekend, there’s been a huge range of reactions. Some people are relieved, and feel that the worst is over, and that it’s back to business as usual. Some people think this is way too early and are still on full lockdown mode and perhaps trying to avoid the outside world even more so than usual, now that some people are mixing it up.

At the Walmart…it was totally game on, business as usual. I saw very few people in masks. Families were shopping as a group with their kids, many people were in couples or even bigger groups. The staff were manning the door but were doing little to stop the flow of people coming in, or to restrict larger groups of shoppers. It wasn’t exactly crowded inside but it was much busier than it had been in the past few weeks. The garden centre was open and the staff there had no protective gear at all, and people were free to browse and mingle in the close aisles as they picked out their plants.

At the Superstore…I saw more people in masks, perhaps a third or so. They were still controlling the checkouts with a single socially distanced lineup. But there were lots of couples and family groups shopping together, and at the “sterilize your own cart” station, they were out of paper towels, so I guess that’s over now.

At the Sobey’s…I don’t often shop there, I had to go to get just a couple of specific brand-name things the Superstore does not carry. So I wasn’t super familiar with their process, and got barked at several times by the staff for entering the wrong way, and taking a cart from the wrong place, and lining up wrong. But in a way that was actually reassuring – they still care, and are still trying to keep everyone separate and keep everything clean.

At the Home Hardware…I waited in a socially-distanced line for about a half hour while the staff member at the front managed the number of people in the store. He was great – he asked everyone what part of the store they needed to visit, then only let one or two people in each area at once, all the while keeping it positive and upbeat. I just needed one thing from here, and he directed me straight to it. At the checkout, the cashier noticed that there was another man standing nearby waiting for something so she asked me to come behind the counter and take a different route out of the store so I wouldn’t have to walk directly past the man.

At the local nursery near my house…I waited two hours in a socially-distanced line up (and got a pretty awful sunburn) to give my prepared list of plants and fertilizers to a staff member behind a gate, who went and filled my order for me, then did a contact-less transfer of goods with tap-only for payment. I was literally the only person there in a mask, but we were all outside and spaced apart, so maybe it didn’t matter that much. The owners of the nursery made it clear that some members of their staff were immune-compromised and so no one would be allowed in to just browse around, but this was news to many people in line, who said that other nurseries were allowing general browsing and business as usual.

And that was shopping this weekend. I wore a mask everywhere and I got a mixture of reactions – other people in masks tended to give me space, people in larger family groups with no masks tended to act like I wasn’t there when reaching around me for things on shelves or letting their kids dance at my feet in the checkout line.

It’s a weird time. I know everyone is trying to figure out what is right for themselves and their family and society and it seems like there are a lot of big questions with no answers right now. I know that the plan cannot be
“we just don’t get the virus indefinitely” but also “everyone getting it at once” is not a great option either, so perhaps this combination of some places opening up, some places still locking it down will work out to a kind of balance.

For us, for now, we are doing well just being at home. We are able to work and go to school and get the things we need with just one of us leaving the house. I can wear a mask and that’s not a huge deal, so I will. I will try to limit my contact with others and my exposure in order to put off getting the virus until it’s better understood and treatment options are more accessible and advanced.

That’s our plan, for now at least, What’s yours?

6 thoughts on “Scenes from Shopping This Weekend

  1. I agree. It is a bit of a mess. I’m with the people who are being even more cautious now. My husband has been the designated shopper, so I have only been out a handful of times past the streets and nature pathways of my neighbourhood. I’m going to keep it that way for a while.

  2. I have been utilizing curb-side service whenever I can. We are supposed to be opening up slowly, but everywhere I look, I see people not being as safe as they should. So, for now, we are hunkering down and staying home as much as possible.

  3. … no plans here! I’m not desperate for anything newly open stores may offered (what I miss most right now is haircut for Mark, my gym and other services that won’t be open anytime soon).

    I’m not against wearing a mark but I don’t have any. We had a handful from the walk-in clinic (probably got them last time we were all sick a while ago) and that’s it. I have no sewing material and frankly, I can’t sew. I saw boxes of 50 disposable marks at Rexall for $75–yeah, no thanks. So I’ll see if I can find a reusable fabric mask in the next few weeks.

    Other than that, not much. Feeling pretty low actually, I’m running out of ideas to keep Mark busy and happy and some days, it feels we’re never gonna see the end of that crap…

  4. Totally staying home as much as possible. Hubby went out this morning to get a couple of grocery items that are staples that I somehow forgot to order for last Saturday’s pick up – corona-fuzz brain or something. Otherwise, he went out to a garden centre on the weekend and we don’t typically leave except for Saturday morning grocery pick-up. Kingston has been pretty safe but news is buzzing with our most recent case – someone left the ygk bubble and went elsewhere (Ottawa?) and brought back covid-19. So I hope everyone still stays in, wears masks and takes care – it can be easy here to think that everything is safe.

  5. bibliomama2

    About the same. Matt and I still working from home. Mostly me doing errands, masked. I’ve been surprised at how willing Angus is to wear a mask – he wears one at his job cleaning windows and just asked for one to go to the bank. We’ve done more social stuff, all in backyards, six feet apart, everyone brings their own drink. I feel like the virus isn’t hard to catch, but it’s also not quite as easy as I felt like it might be earlier on, so I’m less terrified, but not ready to be much less careful.

  6. Marianne

    We have been at home pretty much exclusively until yesterday and today. After picking up our boat from winter storage yesterday my husband made an in-person trip to Canadian Tire for some needed items, especially a larger life jacket for our oldest.
    Today all 4 of us got in the car together to drive somewhere for the first time in 2 months!! Then we enjoyed boating on the river all the way up to Constance Bay and back, soaking in the scenery and the gorgeous sunshine.
    I am caught between wanting to go out shopping just to have a slight sense of normalcy back, and wanting to continue to avoid it so I can avoid the fact that it isn’t actually normal at all. For now, I’m staying home and still doing all our grocery shopping online for pick-up.

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