Grocery shopping during this pandemic

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Joined May 5, 2010
The store I work in is very small. Get 20 people in there and it's difficult if not impossible to social distance, yet the tourists as well as the locals seem to not give a care about distancing.
We've removed half of our carts to limit the number of people in the store.
We have lines drawn on the floor to dictate distancing, signs asking people to maintain 6 feet, but people are not following any rules.
The line at the cashier is shoulder to shoulder.
If a cashier, or store worker, such as myself, asks people to "step back please," we are met with anger, contempt, and refusals to shop at our store again.
Ugly rumor yesterday that our town had it's first confirmed case of the virus put us all on edge. It turned out to be gossip.
I don't understand the mentality and am very frustrated.
I must record my temperature on my time card, and wear a mask the entire time I'm at work.
Whole families come in but only one of them is shopping. The rest are taking up space that others need to shop and distance themsleves.
People seem to think that they are on vacation here so that merits ignoring safety protocols.
I had to vent....thanks Chef Ross
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
I would consider yourself very lucky to not even have a first confirmed case yet. If people are ignoring safety protocols than that is kind of on the business and management. During the rough patch here grocery stores literally had queues outside with a security officer to control flow. Staff were assigned to make sure people were far enough from one another in the check out lines and required masks signs were posted everywhere. I understand the logistics of keeping everyone apart is hard in a place like a grocery store where everyone is constantly moving and touching items. If people are getting so mad at being asked to step back then kick their asses out and after finding that they have no where to get food maybe they will change their tune. As far as the whole families thing, that is kind of a hard one. While I'm working my wife has to go grocery shopping and has to take the kids with her. They wear masks and act responsibly but still get looks. So it may not always be an issue of not caring about the safety precautions but rather just not being able to fully follow them all the time. The businesses really need to be proactive because if the customer base sees that they rules are not being enforced of course they are going to be lax about them. Good luck and I hope you continue to be negative.
 
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Here in Upstate NY, most everyone has gotten on board with protocols. Some are hesitant to cooperate but now peer pressure works well. Plus we have signs on every business stating in no uncertain terms, "No Mask, No Entry". Everyone realizes it isn't a joke. And there are distancing signs all over as well on walls and floors. Politeness reigns as we realize we are all in new territory.
On the other hand a local pub just lost their liquor license for not enforcing the mask rule. Now the patrons know that the authorities aren't messing about.
 
752
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Joined May 25, 2015
From what I have seen the virus spreads when groups of people congregate in confined spaces that has little ventilation. I don't consider myself a virus paranoid, but I would not enter your store seeing that situation from the front door. Masks do next to nothing.

I don't like being the "covid police". I also hate lining up outside a store, but in this case it looks like it's the only thing to do, workers need to be protected. Station somebody by the door, let a certain number in initially and as someone leaves let another in. People should be used to that by now.

I might also look for ways to display and sell things like produce outside if possible. For your own good I would also do what I could to increase fresh air and ventilation into the store, but I know that's not something that is going to be possible.
 
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Just out of curiosity do you do curbside delivery? Maybe that would help alleviate some of this congestion?
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
That would certainly help too.

Out of curiosity Chef, was it you who said your store is on kind of a small island touristy place?
 
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I'm in Montana and the Governor here signed an EO requiring masks in all public spaces. I've seen very few people ignoring the order and have heard virtually no complaints. But I recently took vacation to visit family in South Dakota and it's a shit show! Not a mask in sight except places like Costco that mandate it storewide, and zero social distancing in public. I'll note that Sioux Falls had a huge number of cases at the JM plant (which actually had to close on account of it) so you'd think there'd be some common sense. It doesn't help that the SD Governor is a moron.
 
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A quick look indicates that the spike in cases resulted from the colleges resuming and the students "partying" together at bars and other gatherings. Nothing to do with masks. Bars should have never been allowed to open and school reopening should have been reconsidered or modified.

As for the Smithfield plant:
“Living circumstances in certain cultures are different than they are with your traditional American family,” she explained. The spokesperson and a second corporate representative pointed to an April 13 Fox News interview in which the governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, said that “99%” of the spread of infections “wasn’t happening inside the facility” but inside workers’ homes, “because a lot of these folks who work at this plant live in the same community, the same buildings, sometimes in the same apartments."

Again, nothing to do with masks. Matter of fact it's my experience that immigrant workers tend to be hyper vigilant about wearing masks.

In both these cases it's obvious that the virus spread because of people congregating in enclosed spaces.
 
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717
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
A quick look indicates that the spike in cases resulted from the colleges resuming and the students "partying" together at bars and other gatherings. Nothing to do with masks. Bars should have never been allowed to open and school reopening should have been reconsidered or modified.

As for the Smithfield plant:


Again, nothing to do with masks. Matter of fact it's my experience that immigrant workers tend to be hyper vigilant about wearing masks.

In both these cases it's obvious that the virus spread because of people congregating in enclosed spaces.

I don't believe 1 or a million more case increase matters if you don't consider all of the data on what percentages of those new positive cases are either:

-"New" cases of people who had previously had it and not know it, but have had a occurrence via testing.
-Percentage of those new cases broken down by age, health, etcetera.
-Percentage of those new cases resulting in hospitalizations.
-Percentage of those hospital cases resulting in ICU admissions.
-Percentage of those cases resulting in death being reported as Covid-19 being the primary cause.

We are doing over a 100K tests a day here, and have a positive percentage less than 7/10th's of a percent. Increased new cases sounds scary and may turn into something scary, but only going off one set of numbers is not a good way to view the data.
 
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...but only going off one set of numbers is not a good way to view the data.

But it is a good way to scare people so they will do whatever they are told. If they presented everything in perspective the public would become complacent. They need the fear factor. I believe that mask requirements are just an "in-your-face" reminder so people will be mindful of keeping away from other people, limiting time in stores, etc. Masks themselves are next to useless for stopping the spread.
 
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But it is a good way to scare people so they will do whatever they are told. If they presented everything in perspective the public would become complacent. They need the fear factor. I believe that mask requirements are just an "in-your-face" reminder so people will be mindful of keeping away from other people, limiting time in stores, etc. Masks themselves are next to useless for stopping the spread.
I think the masks sometimes are counter productive because people take more risks because they think they are some magic shield. I personally wish they would emphasize hand washing more rather than the masks.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
One reason given for masks is that they keep the wearer from touching their eyes. But if you watch most people wearing masks they constantly play with it and touch their face. Then too, the situation with hands is not what we are accustomed to. We in this business are concerned with very real every day possibility of cross contamination from one food to another, one surface to another. That's why we know when and why to wash our hands and wear gloves.

But with general public and the virus it's different. The concern is the small chance that you will pick the virus up off a contaminated surface, touch your eyes and provide yourself with enough virus to cause you a problem. If (and it's a big if) that's going to happen it will be before you can get to a sink to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or remove your gloves. You're gonna play with your mask with your contaminated hands because it's annoying and uncomfortable.

They always give us the worst case (theorized) scenario as to how long the virus stays active on different surfaces or in the air. But in reality, environmental factors such as relative humidity, temperature, amount and type of UV radiation and air currents all play a big part to mitigate those numbers and in most cases, especially outdoors, the risk is practically zero.
 
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Chefross, I feel your pain. We are also a tourist area and people do act like being on vacation also means vacation from precautions. We were doing great with numbers until tourists started pouring back into the area.

We too have been having to ask people to back up from the person we are actually helping at the moment. It was less often at the beginning, but more and more each each week as people get "caution fatigue". We get it, but are not going to allow it. We've had a few walk off in a uff, but we are lucky in that we can afford to lose those few people who do not understand or care.

A local bistro has very large signs on their doors stating the rules with "As required by the county" in big letters at the top. This allows them to enforce the rules but blame "the man", which has helped since the customer feels sympathy for the workers "having" to follow the rules. Does your town have a masking rule? Perhaps your signs could remind people that the store doesn't have a choice either?

I wish I had more advice, but I do understand your frustration.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
This allows them to enforce the rules but blame "the man", which has helped since the customer feels sympathy for the workers "having" to follow the rules. Does your town have a masking rule? Perhaps your signs could remind people that the store doesn't have a choice either?

This whole situation puts store and restaurant owners and employees in a very bad situation. We build our businesses on being accommodating to customers. Unless you happen to be a bar owner in a seedy section of town where you employ bouncers or security, it's not usual to have to or even know how to approach customers about them doing something wrong in your grocery store. We're not the covid police, and we have no experience dealing with what could be an explosive situation where someone could get hurt. "As required by the county" makes me laugh. Those idiots have a hell of a nerve making requirements then expecting some Mom and Pop to enforce them!

Like I suggested above, only let a certain number of customers in at a time to protect you and your employees. And if someone insists on not wearing a mask, let it be. They are not hurting anyone and it's not worth it to to risk getting physically harmed yourself.

There is a reason most big stores will fire an employee who confronts or chases a shop lifter.

I wonder what your insurance would say about an altercation started by a store employee over a mask where the customer got hurt. I also wonder how much the customer's lawyer will sue you for.
 
3,177
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Joined May 5, 2010
Chefross, I feel your pain. We are also a tourist area and people do act like being on vacation also means vacation from precautions. We were doing great with numbers until tourists started pouring back into the area.

We too have been having to ask people to back up from the person we are actually helping at the moment. It was less often at the beginning, but more and more each each week as people get "caution fatigue". We get it, but are not going to allow it. We've had a few walk off in a uff, but we are lucky in that we can afford to lose those few people who do not understand or care.

A local bistro has very large signs on their doors stating the rules with "As required by the county" in big letters at the top. This allows them to enforce the rules but blame "the man", which has helped since the customer feels sympathy for the workers "having" to follow the rules. Does your town have a masking rule? Perhaps your signs could remind people that the store doesn't have a choice either?

I wish I had more advice, but I do understand your frustration.


Our business all have large signs in big letters telling everyone that they must wear a mask before entering. We do have several places where the wearing of a mask is "optional." I stay away from those places and can not for the life of me understand their mentality.
We have virus deniers here too. They believe the virus is not real and made up by politicians who hate our current president.
We have people who simply will not wear a mask....period. Same as in a lot of places right now,
Yesterday I found out we DO have a case of the virus here but that the business owner kept it to himself for 5 days before going public with the information as he was following CDC guidelines.
The rumors and gossip made him come clean with the info.....
This is the way it is here.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
Yesterday I found out we DO have a case of the virus here but that the business owner kept it to himself for 5 days before going public with the information as he was following CDC guidelines.
The rumors and gossip made him come clean with the info.....

Question is would that business be one of the ones that are mask optional and would I assume correctly that the infected person is an employee?

I just heard yesterday that the schools here, when they reopen next week, will not be making it public if they have any cases.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Our business all have large signs in big letters telling everyone that they must wear a mask before entering. We do have several places where the wearing of a mask is "optional." I stay away from those places and can not for the life of me understand their mentality.
We have virus deniers here too. They believe the virus is not real and made up by politicians who hate our current president.
We have people who simply will not wear a mask....period. Same as in a lot of places right now,
Yesterday I found out we DO have a case of the virus here but that the business owner kept it to himself for 5 days before going public with the information as he was following CDC guidelines.
The rumors and gossip made him come clean with the info.....
This is the way it is here.

While I believe Covid-19 is an actual thing, I kinda can see how you could have deniers in your area especially if you haven't had any cases up to this point after all the "hot spots" and constant media reporting on it. I agree that trying to enforce the policy by the business is not worth it. We are told masks are to protect other people from your germs, not the other way around so if someone doesn't want to be protected than why force them? If you say masks are in fact for personal protection than if someone doesn't want to wear one for their own protection than that is their problem if you are wearing your mask. If the mask is so magically protective it should not matter if others are infected with it around you if you wear it. See how all the conflicting information can be confusing? Even here in NY, where most people wear them and most businesses require them the executive order specifically states that the mask wearing is required unless you can maintain a 6 foot social distance or have underlying medical conditions that make it hard to breath.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
We are told masks are to protect other people from your germs, not the other way around so if someone doesn't want to be protected than why force them? If you say masks are in fact for personal protection than if someone doesn't want to wear one for their own protection than that is their problem if you are wearing your mask. If the mask is so magically protective it should not matter if others are infected with it around you if you wear it. See how all the conflicting information can be confusing?

I'm not a denier but you put it very well about masks. First they (and there was a big discrepancy between the CDC and the WHO) said that masks do little or nothing and only needed to be worn by people who are caring for people who have the virus. Then they said everybody should wear a mask if you are within 6 feet of other people to protect yourself. When that didn't work they began saying that you wear a mask to protect others from you. They are using peer pressure to manipulate which is causing more harm because people are at each other's throats.

So we have people walking around outside wearing a mask, people driving cars wearing masks, people running and bicycle riding wearing masks, people swimming! wearing masks, people walking to outdoor dining across a parking lot wearing masks. And if you don't do as they do you risk a confrontation.

Then consider that we have one of the idiots running for the White House saying that if he's elected he is going to mandate mask wearing and if everybody wears a mask for three months this virus will be gone.

I really can't see how anybody with a brain can take any of this seriously.
 

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