Monday, April 6, 2020

I wore a mask to the grocery store

Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf strongly recommended that people should wear face masks when they are out and about. This is supposed to be prevent droplets of moisture that might carry the COVID-19 virus from infecting us.

So I donned this one before heading out to the local Giant Food Store this morning.

I bought two masks years ago at J.B. Hostetter & Sons hardware store to wear when I mulch leaves in the fall. This is the spare that I had on hand. It works just fine, with one complaint: I can't wear my glasses over top of it, so my breathing fogs up my glasses.

It was a strange feeling walking through Giant bemasked, although nearly everyone else was, too. So no one looked at me strangely.

There have been some changes at Giant ever since this pandemic began to impact Lancaster County. So here are some more COVID-19 observations, this time from my latest visit to get groceries.

  • They've installed plexiglas shields at the checkout so there's a barrier between the cashier and customer. I've heard it described as a "sneeze shield," a la a salad bar. I haven't tested out if they're sneeze proof.
  • Today, I noticed yellow arrows taped onto the floor indicating the direction customers are supposed to go down the aisles. Signs are posted to indicate that traveling one way down an aisle helps promote social distancing. I think it's a good idea, although it wasn't busy when I was there. I did encounter one woman today who kept going the wrong direction, and when I saw her 10 minutes later she only had four items in her cart.
  •  At checkout today, the cashier declined to bag my groceries because I brought reusable bags. It added to the time at the checkout, and I'm glad it wasn't busy (one customer behind me left for another line after she saw I was bagging everything).
  • Gene Wenger's Meats and Fine Foods is only allowing 2 customer inside their store at one time, and they require everyone to use hand sanitizer before they enter. All the employees are wearing masks, and since the last time I visited they installed a plexiglas barrier at the cash register.

EDITED April 7, 2020, to reflect a visit to Wenger's Meats and Fine Foods.

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