corvid 19 shopping - long lines at a grocery store
Posted in personal
March 14, 2020

Kindness in the age of COVID-19

So much has been said about COVID-19. People focusing on the greedy people who stockpiled toilet paper – or people even worse, like the guy who drove through several states to buy up all available hand sanitizer. So that he could sell it on Amazon with a markup.

This week was rough, my friends. Not just because of the news (though I am always concerned, since I am immune suppressed). But between my work transitioning fully to work from home to some non COVID-19 things going on in our home, it’s been stressful.

gif from a new hope of han solo saying we're all fine here now thank you how are you?

So while I’d made some small purchases online to help bolster our existing supplies, we still had to go out and buy groceries. I’d seen everyone’s pictures of empty shelves, and I was braced for the worst.

Target had employees standing nearby to limit purchases of Clorox wipes – he was cheerful and wished us well. One guy was walking out with the big gallon bottles of water and asked us if we wanted one. Nobody pushed or shoved. On more than one occasion, I saw people comment that a particular soap or cleaner was good.

Sprouts had a long line that wound through the store. We found what we needed, and discovered the advantage of the long line. If we were struck by a whim and thought of something we might still be able to get (all their bulk bins were empty and they had no pasta), one of us could stay with the cart while the other grabbed it. And we started watching carts in line for the people who were there by themselves, so that they could do the same. Nobody was taking anything out of anyone else’s cart. I saw a few people pull items forward if someone couldn’t reach.

Trader Joe’s had pasta (though no sauce, oddly enough), and we were in a line that didn’t move as smoothly as the one at Sprouts. But the woman behind us was nice, and we watched her cart as she ran off to grab things. She came back with some garlic and onions, and said she couldn’t believe they were out of ginger. So I told her they had some frozen crushed ginger in with the frozen vegetables. I described the package and she came back with it with a smile.

But that’s the way it was. Everyone was exhausted and weary. But people were making conversation, talking about stores they’d seen and tried, places that they might go next that. The news focuses on the negatives – but let me tell you, there’s still a lot of kindness out there.

If you still need to do your shopping – please be patient. Both with the shoppers, but especially the people at the stores. Everyone is going to be affected by COVID-19, so please be considerate.

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