A Not So Normal Trip to the Grocery #sol20

Sunday I ventured to the grocery store. I had heard the reports that people we lining up an hour before stores opened to get a chance for hot items like meat, bread, paper products. But, I couldn’t do it. I did not want to be around that rush, so I waited until noon. I wasn’t prepared with a list like normal. My mindset was, Get whatever you can to sustain your family for two weeks. I had my baggie with Clorox wipes and my reusable bags, and I was out the door.

As I pulled into the parking lot, things seemed fairly normal. I got my cart and wiped down the handle and began to the produce section. There seemed to be no shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables. Good, I stocked up on everything I could find, ensuring lots of healthy sides for our upcoming meals.

Next, I passed the bakery section. Stocking up on some fresh baked breads, because my family loves breads. Actually, that might just be me. Moving on to the seafood, I grabbed our go to salmon plank hoping for a nice day to grill out this week.

Then I encountered the meat section. Where is the hamburger? Where is the chicken? Empty. I scanned for other protein items. Pork tenderloin, stew meat, roast. I can make something with those things. Hopefully the freezer section will have some other items I can work with.

I continue on my shopping journey. The bread isle. I see a sign posted. Only 3 bread items per customer. I continue to see this sign throughout the store, in the dairy section, in the paper section. I am shocked at several aisles. Absolutely no tortillas, no paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, cleaning wipes, milk. MILK. My kids drink a lot of milk. I have to settle for two half gallons of random organic milk and one chocolate Fairlife to stay within the limit. That will not sustain us for two weeks. We will need to limit our consumption.

Several people have masks on throughout the store. I try not to make eye contact with people for fear of being drawn into a conversation. I need to stay away from close contact. I see a colleague and we exchange pleasantries and wish each other safety and good health. Every door I open, I use my wipe to protect my hand from any germs on the handles.

I think I’m finally ready to check out over an hour later. My cart is filled to the brim. I have never bought so much food. I hope people don’t think I’m hoarding. I’m trying to be responsible and get everything I can think of so I can stay home and flatten the curve.

The man in front of me has a mask on, is spraying the conveyor belt, and wiping down everything in sight. He hands me two wipes for my cart. He tells me stories of people who are sick and individuals that have died. This is not helpful. He is spreading fear. I keep taking deep breaths. I thank the cashier and bagger for their continued work during this difficult time. I exit the store hoping my family can stay away from the grocery for two weeks. So far we are on day 4, and the milk is already running low.

7 thoughts on “A Not So Normal Trip to the Grocery #sol20

  1. You are documenting your experience so vividly. This is what I am hoping my students will do, write down the littlest moments that reflect these monumental changes in our lives. I felt like I was right there with you in the store. Stay safe, stay well. Thank you for sharing this insightful slice!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do feel grateful to the grocery clerks who schlep into the store every day. I pray for their safety. We all need to care for each other. It’s going to be a long haul I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Similar to what was said in the above post, I am so thankful for those working at the grocery store. Last time I went, there was a woman who came over to wipe down the self checkout register right before I used it. I think that were her sole job – to just keep wiping down the registers. I hope all the grocery workers get lots of thank yous and smiles throughout the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grocery shopping is not the social activity it once was in our store. I couldn’t believe the absence of tortillas either. I am all for buying what you need for two weeks. I do the same thing. Hoarding is just being selfish.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My heart quickened as I read your post. You really captured that feeling of, oh my goodness, this is for real. You had me there with you in the store, eyes widening and mouth dropping (figuratively, of course). Stay well and make that milk last!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whoever thought that walking down a grocery aisle would be so sliceworthy? It’s like a whole new world out there and the fear is really not helpful as you say. Thanks for your very descriptive slice, as I don’t live in the US and have no access to supermarkets right now, it is an eye opener. I hope you can get more milk as necessary!

    Liked by 1 person

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