Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 16, Quarantine Fatique

About four months ago most of the United States began some form of lockdown.  About a month ago, most of those states loosened-up some restrictions.  Some states require face masks in public, others strongly recommend it.  Many politicians refuse to wear a mask for a variety of reasons (vanity among them.)

Most states use a phased approach to re-open.  Many of those states are not adhering to guidelines finally released by the CDC.   There has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in many states that have reopened.

People argue:

  • increased numbers are caused by increased testing, not more cases
  • hospital bed use is a better reflection of the actual increase in number as opposed to testing results.

Two places to get COVID-19 statistics are

  1. CDC- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/index.htmlCDC COVID-19 Chart through 13 June 2020
  2. John Hopkins University-https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

John Hopkins Map 20200617

    1. Look at the Recovered sections if you want to feel a bit more hopeful.

John Hopkins recovered snapshot 20200617

Virginia is one of the states where the daily number of virus cases and deaths are going down.  We are in phase II of the state’s reopening.  People are weary of any limitations, despite an increase in what they can do and where they can go.

On June 17, the local news announced that 25 states had increased cases of COVID-19–three of them had increases greater than 100%

At the Distillery.

We visited it last Monday.  The young woman running the distillery that day, met us at the window before we entered the building.  She asked to see our ID cards (both of us are in our 60s) and said she would put her mask on if we wanted her to wear one.

Approximately eight guests were in the tasting room, including us.  Four of them left about five minutes after we got there.  Social distancing was left to the discretion of each couple.

The young woman made a feeble attempt at wiping the bar top down with a splash of hand sanitizer swirled around with not-quite-clean rag. (She never did put her mask on despite making several mixed beverages for the four customers.)

The bathroom was not as clean as it normally was with a dark ring around the toilet bowl at the waterline.

At the Hardware Store.

At a small, locally run hardware store, neither of the two store employees wore masks.  They came out from behind the wooden counter to help customer find items in the store.  My husband and I were the only two people in the store wearing masks when we went in to purchase a fan and a woodscrew.

At the Grocery Store.

Today at the local Kroegers, the store still had one door listed as the entrance and one door listed as the exit.  As I entered, a young man pushed his cart under the temporary belt line control indicating that people were not to go in that direction and out the entrance door.  As I exited, a woman was pushing her cart into the grocery store.

All the staff and customers I saw were still wearing masks.  Most people seemed to have abandoned wearing the rubber gloves I saw on earlier visits.  They also seemed less concerned with practicing social distancing.

At Protests.

I have not been to a protest march and can only observe what I’ve seen on television.  From Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington, DC,  Richmond, and Charlottesville, social distancing is a pipe dream.  I’ve seen more masks proportionally worn by the protesters than I have seen worn in the Senate.

Unlike COVID-19, protesting injustice is something that people can see and participate actively.  With COVID019, they can wash their hands and maintain six feet of separation.

 

 

 

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt. 16, Librarians as Contact Tracers

NBC’s  Today had a feature on using Librarians as Contact Tracers on Thursday, May 21.

The Guardian ran a story on May 1. “Despite its techie reputation, San Francisco has so far eschewed smartphone tracking and contact tracing apps in favor of old-fashioned phone calls.”

MarketWatch ran a story on librarians as contact tracers on May 8. San Francisco Librarians were among the city employees reassigned after the mayor declared a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, a recent survey by NPR, which included responses from 41 states and Washington, D.C., found that about 7,602 people in total were currently working as contact tracers, with an expected surge to about 36,587 — figures that Frieden called “a start.”

According to NBC Bayarea, “San Francisco partnered with UCSF to train librarians, assessors and attorneys to work as contact tracers. UCSF is now rolling out the program statewide in a partnership with California’s public health department to train 20,000 contact tracers by July. Gov. Gavin Newsom has pinpointed contact tracing, along with large-scale testing, as keys to reopening California’s economy. ”

In Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media recommends three levels of contact tracers.

  1. Trained Lay People
  2. Epidemiologists
  3. Health Care Professionals

Within the contact tracing workforce, the organization distinguishes between “case investigators, who interview people diagnosed with COVID-19 and then figure out how many people they might have come in contact with while contagious, and contact tracers, who notify and follow up with these contacts.” For the latter, Plescia suggests university students or school teachers, especially over the summer. Librarians could also be good candidates.

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: pt 15, Dipping a Toe in the Water

Dipping a toe in the waterAs states begin re-opening, governments, businesses, and individuals test what works and what does not.  Everyone and every group have a different opinion and love to share why their point of view is correct.

In Wisconsin, the State Supreme Court struck down the governor’s declaration to stay at home.  In Oregon, the State Supreme Court overruled a lower court’s decision that limiting religious services violated freedom of religion and that the rest of the governor’s Stay At Home orders were null and void.

For many it’s which is more important:

  • the economic health of the community or
  • the physical health of the community.

Re-opening is a balancing act between jumpstarting the economy while continuing to contain further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Virginia began it’s phased re-opening on Friday–a sunny, gorgeous 80 something day.  My husband and I celebrated by meeting another couple for lunch at  11 when the brewpub opened.  Although we drove to the restaurant in separate cars we did share a spacious table under a cheerful umbrella.

Restaurant experience.

Blue Mountain Brewery had done a wonderful job of spreading out the tables across its spacious patio and front yard with a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The wait staff was wearing masks; nobody was allowed inside except to use the bathrooms.  The tape was stretched from the entryway directly to the bathrooms for those who did not know where the bathrooms were or hoping to order from the taped off bar.

The menus were paper but the cutlery and plating were the ones that the restaurant always used.  Water was self serve from a table set up nearby.

 

We split an artichoke and spinach dip before my husband had a turkey wrap and I had a small Ceasar salad with chicken. We each had a side of some delicious baked beans. He drank a Full Nelson, their flagship pale ale and I had a Bold Rock hard cider.  (I am the only one in my family who does not like beer.)

Winery Experience.

On Saturday, we went to one of our favorite wineries, Cardinal Point.  Virginia wineries can only

  • Cardinal Point logoserve outside (no wine tasting at  a counter)
  • at 50% of their normal capacity.

Many have opened, some require reservations to ensure that these guidelines can be maintained. Some of the appointments are limited to two hours so that the winery staff can sanitize the seating area before the next group arrives.

Many of the wineries limit the initial appointments to wine club members only.  Although Cardinal Point does not charge for a reservation, many are charging between $10 and $25.  One whose name I do not remember and will not patronize anyway is charging $145 for a reservation.  Any wine purchased will be deducted from the reservation price.

Some sell food and all of them encourage guests to bring picnics from home, as well as the utensils.  Some say you have to take out whatever you bring in, except for the wine they would like to sell you.

Love at Cardinal Point Winery

At Cardinal Point, we split a bottle of Green Wine (very similar to Portuguese Vinho Verde) and a bag of savory snacks.

Cardinal Point with social distancing

DMV Experience

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles opened yesterday.  I needed to renew something and made an appointment online last week for 8:55 this morning.  The DMV limits the number of customers inside.  If you arrive more than 10 minutes early you need to wait outside until they call your number.

I got there at  8:50 as one of the DMV workers came out to look for me.  She lead me inside and looked around for an open window. (Every other window has a plexiglass shield in front it and the in-between stations are empty.).  A single chair is placed in front of each manned window.  (The rows of chairs where you normally wait for 20-60 minutes after standing in line for 20 minutes or longer so you can get a number to go wait in one of the chairs, had been removed.)

I was required to wear a mask and had my temperature taken before I went inside.  It was the most pleasant experience I have ever had at the DMV–in an out in under 10 minutes.

DMV by appointment and with Coronavirus social restrictions

Reblog: Ripples of Hope

Do you think that the world will be better or worse after the Coronavirus?  Our air pollution has gotten much better.  Our increased use of plastic has created more plastic pollution in landfills and the ocean.  We are forced to address the inequities in our health systems and what it means to be essential.

Sunrise silence
Will it be the dawn of a new day?

Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has written a thoughtful blog post on the topic:

My friend Stephen sent me this earlier in the year, and it gave me great hope that, just maybe, our individual actions could make this world a better place. At the time, Australia was in the midst of terrible bushfires, and I was questioning whether our attempts over the previous two years to live more sustainably had really made any difference at all in the grand scheme of things.

To read more click: https://figjamandlimecordial.com/2020/05/11/ripples-of-hope/

Reblog: Within the Sounds of Silence….

What is silence?  Is it the absence of sound?

I love libraries–particularly if I’m the only one in there.  Of course without patrons, there would be no need for a library.  What do libraries sound like when no one there?  Do you hear the whispers of Shhhhhh blowing softly past your ear?

The New York Public Library is currently closed.  It is still full of ambient sounds.  Click here to read about a recording of New York Sounds that are helping people get through the Coronavirus lockdown.  And listen to the quiet library

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 14, Are These Still the Signs of the Time?

I took many of these pictures in April–thinking that I had plenty of time to write this post as a Sign of the Times.  However, with so many states beginning to ease stay at home restrictions (even my state of Virginia will begin to open up on  Friday unless the governor postpones it for the fourth time), some of these will pass from the present to the past.

Hopefully, these types of signs will not disappear too quickly and we will remember our healthcare workers, other first responders, and essential workers.

Then there are the commercial signs reminding us to stay home or maintain proper social distancing.

Corona Virus--Sign--Paramount
Paramount Theater on the Downtown Pedestrian Mall
Corona Virus--Sign--Stay Home
Roadside sign near Afton, Virginia on US 250

 

Corona Virus--Sign--Beta Bridge (more)
Beta Bridge near UVA–what is painted on the bridge changes periodically as different students have something new to paint about

There were a lot of business signs in the early days of the Coronavirus. Some of them have already become outdated, even before Virginia begins phase 1 of re-opening on Friday, May 15.

corona Virus--Signs--Car wash
For whatever reason, the Car Wash has resumed accepting cash.
Corona Virus--Signs--Foods of All Nations goes to Curbside pick-up
Foods of All Nations returned to allowing customers to enter within  2 weeks.

 

Live in the Time of Coronavirus, Pt 13: Reblog: Letters from the Spanish Flu Pandemic

At the end of World War, the world was struck with the Spanish Flu Pandemic.  Troop movement at the end of the war hastened the spread of the flu, which was often followed by pneumonia.  How was life  different one hundred years ago and how is it the same?

UCLA Biomedical Library picture

Read this interview with a special collection librarian from UCLA to find out how little difference a century makes between pandemics.

 

 

When the Quills Point Inward

 

leaf-cactus spine

In this time of inside out

when before has vanished

and next is still a mirage,

my prickly defenses reverse

to poke me into things

I now have time to confront.

Contemplation, mindfulness,

errant thoughts chunnel on

a schedule of their own

with or without my bidding.

The landscape

is shape-shifting

as the next me

coalesces, forms

and reforms

into whatever

manifestation

it will take.

Carmel sunset over Point Lobos

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 12, How Will You Document Your Experiences?

Many of us are still living the experience,  (I don’t want to categorize it as a dream or a nightmare.)  How will you recall what you actually did or tell stories to your children or grandchildren?

One way I am documenting the experience is through this series of blog posts.  I also participate in at least one virus-related Facebook group.

Are you saving pictures of your various attempts at finding or using a mask?  Have you discovered that wearing a mask can cause your glasses to fog?  Have you found your best mask hairstyle?

I caFirst covid maksn’t sew. My first homemade mask using the Surgeon General’s simple video was not a success.  This picture shows why it never made it out of the house.

After checking almost every shop in the area including hardware, drugstores, and grocery stores, we finally ended up buying first paper and then cloth masks from Amazon.  The cloth masks fit a bit loosely until they were washed and put in the dryer.  Then the two-sided mask shrank about 20%.

Two sided masks

The North Carolina Museum of History collects and preserves artifacts relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina. We know that future visitors will want to learn about the many ways this life-altering, worldwide coronavirus outbreak affected North Carolinians. They are calling it the Great Pause.

Is your state or local library collecting such information? I live near Charlottesville, VA and the James Madison Regional Library collected artifacts and memories of that weekend in August when the Alt Right came to town. I have not yet heard if they will do the same for the pandemic.  It offered a virtual class in memoir writing during the Time of the Corona Virus at the Northside Branch.

Memoir Workshop: Life in the Time of COVID-19 Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 6:30 – 8pm

All of our lives are made up of stories. During this time of extreme disorientation due to coronavirus, memoir is the perfect thing to be writing right now. In this workshop, led by published writer and educator Linda Kobert, new or experienced writers will sort through personal experiences to find the thread of one of these stories and start to represent the significant events and characters through words on the page. Class includes writing exercises and discussions. Please be prepared to write with writing materials or a laptop. Having a photograph that evokes a meaningful experience may be helpful to have at hand.

Have you experienced the great TP shortage of 2020?  Or the impending meat and chicken shortage?  How about the changes to your local grocery stores and grab and go meals if you do not want to cook?  How shaggy has your hair gotten and do your roots need a touch-up?

Coronavirus grab and go Greenberry's coffeeKroegers Where to stand markerstoilet paper at Wegman's

If you are doing a lot of Zoom, you can take pictures during the session. NY Public Library is offering some Library themed backgrounds, if you do not want you room to be displayed on the video. https://www.nypl.org/blog/2020/04/01/library-themed-backgrounds-your-next-video-call

Reblog: Yoke of Responsibility

Wreaths across America--crowds

Are you bitching about having to remain in your comfortable home because of the Coronavirus?  If so, you may need to read this powerful blog from Cecilia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Be sure to watch the video at the end.

Privilege is having more than one cup to drink out of. It’s being able to pay exorbitant prices for toilet paper or hand sanitizer or face masks during a crisis. It’s not having to worry about how we’re going to eat or keep a roof over our heads next week….

https://figjamandlimecordial.com/2020/04/28/a-yoke-of-responsibility/

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 11, Quinine or Tonic Preceded Hydroxychloroquine

This is part of an email chain so I can not vouch for its accuracy.  It is an interesting tale.

For any of you that may take what President Trump says literally,  I am not endorsing the nonprescription use of hydroxychloroquine.  You’re on your own as far as deciding to have a G&T or a glass of plain tonic water.

Gin tonic club


Hydroxychloroquine and its connection with India.

As most of us are already aware, Hydroxychloroquine has already taken the world by storm. Every newspaper is talking about it, and all countries are requesting India to supply it.

Now, a curious person might wonder why and how this chemical composition is so deeply entrenched in India, and is there any history behind it.

Well, there is an interesting history behind it which goes all the way to Tipu Sultan’s defeat. In 1799, when Tipu was defeated by the British, the whole of Mysore Kingdom with Srirangapatnam as Tipu’s capital, came under British control. For the next few days, the British soldiers had a great time celebrating their victory,  but within weeks, many started feeling sick due to Malaria, because Srirangapatnam was a highly marshy area with severe mosquito trouble.

The local Indian population had over the centuries, developed self immunity, and also all the spicy food habits also helped to an extent. Whereas the British soldiers and officers who were suddenly exposed to harsh Indian conditions, started bearing the brunt.

To quickly overcome the mosquito menace, the British Army quickly shifted their station from Srirangapatnam to Bangalore (by establishing the Bangalore Cantonment region), which was a welcome change, especially due to cool weather, which the Brits were gavely longing for ever since they had left their shores. But the malaria problem still persisted because Bangalore was also no exception to mosquitoes.

Around the same time in 18th century, European scientists had discovered a chemical composition called “Quinine” which could be used to treat malaria, but it was yet to be extensively tested at large scale. This malaria crisis among British Army came at an opportune time, and thus Quinine was imported in bulk by the Army and distributed to all their soldiers, who were instructed to take regular dosages (even to healthy soldiers) so that they could build immunity. This was followed up in all other British stations throughout India, because every region in India had malaria problem to some extent.

But there was a small problem. Although sick soldiers quickly recovered, many more soldiers who were exposed to harsh conditions of tropical India continued to become sick, because it was later found that they were not taking dosages of Quinine. Why? Because it was very bitter!! So, by avoiding the bitter Quinine, British soldiers were lagging behind on their immunity, thereby making themselves vulnerable to Malaria in the tropical regions of India.

That’s when all the top British officers and scientists started experimenting ways to persuade their soldiers to strictly take these dosages, and during their experiments,  they found that the bitter Quinine mixed with Juniper based liquor, actually turned somewhat into a sweet flavor. That’s because the molecular structure of the final solution was such that it would almost completely curtail the bitterness of Quinine.

That juniper based liquor was Gin. And the Gin mixed with Quinine was called “Gin & Tonic”, which immediately became an instant hit among British soldiers.

The same British soldiers who were ready to even risk their lives but couldn’t stand the bitterness of Quinine,  started swearing by it daily when they mixed it with Gin. In fact, the Army even started issuing few bottles of Gin along with “tonic water” (Quinine) as part of their monthly ration, so that soldiers could themselves prepare Gin & Tonic and consume them everyday to build immunity.

To cater to the growing demand of gin & other forms of liquor among British soldiers, the British East India company built several local breweries in and around Bengaluru, which could then be transported to all other parts of India. And that’s how, due to innumerable breweries and liquor distillation factories, Bengaluru had already become the pub capital of India way back during British times itself.  Eventually, most of these breweries were purchased from British organizations after Indian independence, by none other than Vittal Mallya (Vijay Mallya’s father), who then led the consortium under the group named United Breweries headquartered in Bengaluru.

Coming back to the topic, that’s how Gin & Tonic became a popular cocktail and is still a popular drink even today. The Quinine, which was called Tonic (without gin), was widely prescribed by Doctors as well, for patients who needed cure for fever or any infection. So, that’s how the word “Tonic” became a colloquial word for “Western medicine” in India.

Over the years, Quinine was developed further into many of its variants and derivatives and widely prescribed by Indian doctors. One such descendent of Quinine, called Hydroxychloroquine, eventually became the defacto cure for malaria, which is now suddenly the most sought after drug in the world today.

And that’s how, a simple peek into the history of Hydroxychloroquine takes us all the way back to Tipu’s defeat, mosquito menace, liquor rationing, colorful cocktails, tonics and medicinal cures.

Reblog: What are the Books that New Yorkers are Reading During Quarantine.

Some titles like Michele Obama’s Becoming remain at the topic of the list.  Others like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone may be a surprise.  To read the article click here.

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

2. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

3. The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett

4. Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride

5. The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

6. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

7. Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney

8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K.  Rowling

9. The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates

10. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 10–Libraries

National Library Week 2020In honor of National Library Week

April 19-25, 2020
Theme, “Find Your Place at the Library.”

 

Libraries as Makerspaces play a vital role during the Coronavirus epidemic.

What you are probably expecting:

  • online books
  • databases
  • online journals and newspaper
  • e-audiobooks
  • online activities like story hour, writing classes, or book clubs

For an example of an online Australian Library click here.

What you are probably not expecting was libraries putting their 3D printers to use making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospitals and other first responders.

I first discovered this from reading an American Library Association article on the Monterey Country Public Library making N-95 masks.  From the little I’ve learned about these masks:  1) There are in very short supply and 2)  They are some of the most needed masks.  So this was a very big deal.

Monterey County library is making 3D-printed masks

3D-printed N95 maskThe Monterey County (Calif.) Free Libraries’ two 3D printers are being used to produce protective N95 masks while all of its branches are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The two printers are producing the hard plastic masks around the clock to support first responders and medical professionals who are dealing with the pandemic’s ongoing surge in cases. Each mask takes just over three hours to make and is designed to be worn multiple times by the same person. “We know there is a need for these, so my team tested the masks to pick the best pattern and materials and worked out the bugs before starting the printing work,” Library Director Hillary Theyer said….

Bay City News, San Francisco, Apr. 3

From a webex sponsored by the American Librarian Association,

 

I have found out that public and academic libraries have been making masks from the Toronto Public Library in Canada to Waterloo Public Library in Iowa for hospitals, fire departments, and other agencies. Different libraries are handling this in different ways. One librarian has taken the library’s 3-D printer home to make parts of face masks at home. The Toronto Library transferred it’s 3D printers to the hospital so the hospital could make the masks on site. In Monterey,  the two 3D printers “located in Soledad and Greenfield Branches and have been moved to the county surplus warehouse where the printing is taking place.”

Libraries that are doing this face several issues:

  1. Making masks that are up to code.
  2. Coordinating with an agency that agrees to use the mask
  3. Facing future legal ramifications
  4. Maintaining adequate supplies to continue producing the masks.
  5. Locating suitable places to produce and assemble masks if the library is closed.
  6. Paying for mask production.
  7. Deciding what to do with the 3D printers after the library re-opens.

 

 

Live in the Time of Coronavus, Pt 8–In the Zone

I found this wonderful meme on the Expatting in a COVID-19  World:  Log Entry 3 from Latitude Adjustment Blog.

Corona Virus zone

 

Which zone are you in? Some of our leaders are unfortunately still in the Denial Zone–which is somewhere left of the Fear Zone.

By reading some of the international blogs about how their lives have changed, it gives me some perspective and a feeling that we truly are all in this together.  I know what my husband and I are going through and feel I have a decent grasp of what my state and region are going through. As to what is going on in the United States, it depends upon who is giving the briefing and which news outlet you chose to believe.  Depending upon your point of view, the other side has a tenuous grip on reality.  (I just hope that Dr. Fauci is allowed to continue serving until this crisis has passed.)

Spring makes me hopeful and I’ll take any positivity I can find.  I personally find that I need at least one planned activity a day–some days it’s taking the trash out and getting the mail.  Going to the grocery store is a real treat.  Manage your expectations and learn to adapt.

Laughter can be the best medicine and it’s a nice change to be amused rather than confused or abused.  Does your mind feel contused?

We can mask our faces but not our realities.

 

 

Live in the time of Coronavirus, Pt 7–I’ll Drink to That

“U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages were up 55 percent in the week ending March 21, according to Nielsen. Spirits sales were up 75 percent in the same period, wine sales were up 66 percent, beer sales up 42 percent,” reports Cyril Penn on WineBusiness.com. “What’s more, Nielsen said online sales of beer wine and spirits were up 243 percent versus the same week the year before.”

In Virginia, libraries, schools/universities, courts, and the DMV are all closed indefinitely. However, the states’ Alcohol Beverage Control  (ABC) stores are considered essential along with grocery stores,  pharmacies, laundries and dry cleaners, gas stations, etc.  I guess the state has to make money somehow.

Virginia, a former blue law state, has loosened the requirements on who can offer take-out liquor–breweries can now offer deliveries, many wineries are offering free shipping, and restaurants can sell their bottles of wine to go at discounted prices.

One the other hand, many distilleries have switched from making spirits to hand sanitizers.

Corona Virus--liquor shores

Corona Virus-Possible Drinking Problem

Is your wine cellar or beer stash still intact?  What is your favorite tipple during the pandemic

Corona Virus--Alcohol (2)

 

Live in the Time of Coronavirus, Pt 6–Changing Grocery Store Culture

The social separation in Virginia changed yesterday from recommended to mandatory.   One exception to the mandatory stay at home includes

  • Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53

So going to the grocery store has become one of our ways to reduce cabin fever.

Charlottesville has several grocery stores. We’ve been trying new ones as a legal way to break up the monotony.

1. Kroeger  is our ‘home’ grocery store.  It’s big, competitively priced, and the closest major grocery store.  Other than being out of toilet paper for about a month (I found a few 4-roll packs of generic toilet paper today), it has remained reasonably stocked and staffed.  The only major changes in business was a temporary availability of hand sanitizer (have not seen that in about a week) and placing large blue circles at least 6 feet apart so the customers in the checkout lines know far apart to stand.

Kroegers Where to stand markers

2. Wegmans completely disinfects the conveyor strip at each cash register before allowing the next person to advance to the register. (There is a line 6 feet from the end of the cash register island where you would normally begin placing your groceries while waiting for the preceding person to be checked out.)  Once the conveyor belt is disinfected, you are invited to put your groceries upon it.  You do not step up to the cashier until all of the groceries have been rung up and bagged.  Then you face the cashier and pay for your groceries.

Wegman’s :

  • Increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitation in our stores, distribution centers, and offices
  • Added additional hand sanitizer stations
  • Implemented cashier guidelines for front-end processes and register cleaning and sanitation
  • Social distancing – all stores have visual indicators on the front end and in the pharmacy to limit exposure while customers wait
  • Over the next several weeks, plexiglass shields are being installed at our pharmacies and front-end registers

3. Trader Joe has a sign that that says that only 30 customers are allowed in the store at one time but when I got there an employee said the limit was  20 customers at one time.

About a dozen of us stood 6-10 feet apart in a light drizzle awaiting our turn to get in the store.  The lady in front of me wearing a face mask and plastic gloves on both hands pointedly walked towards some flowers when she thought I was getting too close.  To relieve her anxiety, I deliberately maintained a distance of at least 10 feet.

She had brought two heavy-duty paper bags with her to use for her groceries.  The employee explained that she would have to place them at the bottom of her cart and could fill them either at a special stand-alone table after the groceries had been rung up or back in her car.

The carts and baskets were disinfected as soon as one customer left the shop and the next one in line was admitted.

The masked lady from the line, steered her basket down the middle of each aisle making it difficult for anyone else to use that aisle and still maintain social distancing.

Another lady wore  yellow rain boots and a motorcycle helmet with a mask.  I wondered if this was an impromptu attempt at personal protective equipment until I saw her mount her small motorscooter in the parking lot.

Three different grocery stores each had a different approach to the Coronavirus mandates.