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As much as I run this site I'm a bit of an amateur in the ranting category, but this is a message that needs to get out!
Just waiting outside of one box store for a curbside pickup and with nothing much else to do I’ve been curious about shopping habits with the big change this week. In this case at least the number of pairs of adults shopping together is off the charts... at least as common to see pairs shopping as solo and even in a couple cases full family units of four all going in together. Benefit of the doubt that in the odd situation someone might have a medical reason to need to have someone with them but if that isn’t you and you choose not to use curbside or delivery please please please shop solo and have person #2 (3, 4, etc) wait in the car or at home if you can. These stores are capacity limited and we need to keep our contacts down during the Red/critical status we’re in!
I do think that huge majority of folks want to do the right thing, but unfortunately habits don't always break or form easily even in a situation like this. One thing I will say is that over my wait I bet more than 100 people came and went and mask usage was literally 100%... which on one hand is great, but hopefully it isn’t to the extent where some have the wrong idea that as long as they’re masked it’s okay to add to store congestion with extra tag-alongs.
Military seems a step far, though if we got to Steinbach 40% territory and it showed no signs of turning I’d say all bets are off... Right now the public health order has its focus on the expectation that businesses make sure patrons maintain a distance of at least 2 metres and the stores make their own rules to ensure compliance with that and capacity limits. This particular store has a rule posted right in clear view as you walk in, not sure where they’re at on being able to hold people to it. I wasn’t inside the store to say what actual distancing was like and so maybe I’d be surprised and all of these pairs of folks were keeping their six feet in entry/exitways, aisles and checkout lines with ease, but officially legally written rule or not it seems like common sense that if such a limited amount of people are allowed in the store that full families or even spouse pairs aren’t taking up those key essential item shopping spots while at the same time making it harder on other shoppers to distance and harder on staff to do what they're asked.
Absolutely there’ll be situations with parents, especially single parents and maybe even the odd couple... it’s why on a one-off basis there’s not a lot to be gained from judging and why enforcing must not be totally cut and dry. If we look at wider trends in my approx half hour slice of time though it was enough to see that there’s a wider acceptance of multi adult per household shopping when in huge majority of cases the second adult is going to be redundant. Just hope that folks give extra pause right now in deciding who’s necessary when going in... and extra consideration to whether the item they want can be had by curbside or local delivery. Was reading a couple stories out of Britain that show a real variance in how stores there are approaching.... from encouraging customers to limit family members, to one store actually stopping multi-adult groups and asking them to pick one to go in: https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/whats-on/shopping/sainsburys-only-allow-one-adult-19160020
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