GROCERY SHOPPING IN THE TIME OF CORONA VIRUS
I remember being hesitant about regular shopping online years and years ago. Yes, many years ago. “What? Typing my credit card number on the screen? Humm, I don’t think so.!” But then I started doing it and Amazon came and the rest is history. Thank you, Bezos!
I don’t mind grocery shopping. Call me crazy but I like to see what’s out there, to enjoy the whole sensorial experience, touching and picking the produce, checking new products and reading ingredient labels (which I can barely do without glasses anymore). What I could do without it’s the people that’s there for the same reason. Either blocking my way or parking exactly where I need to get an item or disputing a spot in lines, it’s just annoying. They don’t do this on purpose, of course (some of them, yes, see this article), they are just shopping and probably think I’m annoying, too.
The majority of people in the grocery store I went to yesterday was wearing masks, including myself. And respecting the 6 feet apart rule. Great, but what blows my mind is that there hasn’t been toilet paper or paper towels on the shelves for weeks. Also napkins or Lysol. I don’t get it. Did people really need to buy the whole stock in the market? For what I’ve been seen or better, not been seen, I’m sure there are piles and piles of packages in some people’s houses, the equivalent amount for generations to come or several lifetimes. Can someone explain that? THAT WAS A FUTILE GESTURE. Inconsiderate, selfish people. IF YOU HADN’T BOUGHT THAT MUCH TO PILE UP IN YOUR GARAGE OR YOUR SHED – because where in the world you are keeping all that? – EVERYONE COULD HAVE A ROLL IN THE BATHROOM RIGHT NOW.
Amazon again, saved the day for me. I could replace the paper towels with a reusable cotton-polyester roll and I’m back to cotton napkins but finding toilet paper is a little bit more complicated…
I purchased a toilet sprayer shower that made me wonder “why on Earth I didn’t own one before?” A bidet was a bathroom fixture that I’ve seen in every bathroom until I moved to the US. It’s common in Latin America and Europe, I know but, here? Nope. It’s just a cultural thing, I think.
Point made, I got the toilet sprayer and I’m loving it. I taught my kids how to use it, gave a little cloth towel for each to dry themselves and end of conversation. Until I buy a supersonic toilet bidet with air drying, that’s how it’s going to be. I know that I will have toilet paper in my house again but it will be on my terms. I just think it’s ridiculous not being able to find ANYWHERE, even on Amazon. Oh, you can find a few unknown brands on Amazon but to be delivered in May or June. Thanks but no thanks. If I can stay that long without any, I will not settle for a brand with questionable or unknown effectiveness. I’m not close to losing my dignity over toilet paper. Yet.
Back to the grocery store.
I see moms or dads with plenty of kids, apparently old enough kids that could’ve stayed home, too. I won’t go there though. Children have their own idiosyncrasies and as a mom, I just have to trust a fellow parent’s judgement about their own children. Truly, I don’t see any urgency on their part to get the grocery shopping done though. It’s a complex issue and I’ll not try to explain that.
My gigantic question mark: what’s up with the couples going together grocery shopping? Is it a new trend, little excursions to the market? I don’t recall seeing so many couples – all sizes, ages and colors – out there deciding their dinner out loud, buying ketchup and fruits and bread. Yes, they open their masked or unmasked mouths to talk, freeing not only their annoying voices and what’s on their minds but also particles of saliva, trapped or not. Since when this happens? Maybe I never noticed it before. Maybe I’m just too stressed for having to do something that I don’t want and get angry when I see other people doing it leisurely.
What I see is ALWAYS a woman asking a material shadow of a husband (or boyfriend or whatever), that it’s just following her around taking space with zero knowledge or opinion of anything that she asks, most of the time, and looks like he’s from another planet perusing an unfamiliar habitat. Are the couples that bored that they need to go together to the grocery store, of all places? Go for a walk, go to bed, for God’s sake! Do a favor to the world. A grocery store is not the right place to be bonding! You are just adding up to the problem: increasing the chances to get or transmit the virus or simply blocking people’s way, ok? Do you really understand that? It’s not cute AT ALL.
I could go on and on and include my objections to couples that go to the mall together (fortunately, the malls are closed otherwise this would be happening… those couples made of an unwilling husband and an avid shopper wife. Well, it’s pure misery for both but at least they are doing this to themselves. At this moment going shopping with your significant other with no other reason than to spend time together, it’s not only a disservice and plainly annoying, it’s just WRONG.
What the world is going through right now is challenging, it’s tragic, it’s sad. In every sense. There is a lot of suffering and desperation and we should all be compassionate about that.
What can I do as an individual? Be sympathetic, keep the faith, this will pass eventually. Meanwhile we should do our part to alleviate, not aggravate this situation. Be part of the solution not the problem. It’s a cliché but it serves now. That’s why I do my grocery shopping as fast as I can, only when it’s necessary I keep the social distance in mind and my mouth shut. My mouth is shut out there but here I can talk.