Ladies and gentlemen can we take a moment to discuss manners and decorum during our current pandemic? I understand that we are living in an unsettling, unfathomable time but that does not mean that we can throw out our civility and behave like wild animals. Now is the time to step up and set examples for those around us. Today, let us focus basic etiquette when shopping in public.
by Rigdon, Louis G., ca. 1929-35. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 001-2010
Take a deep breathe, exhale and be prepared for things to move a little slower in stores than normal. You may have to wait in line to enter a store, or to check out. You may experience a back up on a certain grocery store isle as others are shopping, trying to find what they need. This is to be expected and you should act accordingly. Throwing a tantrum and cussing at people only shows that your are short tempered with a lack of verbal skills to properly express your dismay.
2. Practice Social Distancing - 6 FEET
This means if someone else is in the bread isle shopping for their weekly loaf, give them a few minutes to find what they're looking for ( practice your patience) instead of quickly jumping in and grabbing what you want. Or when you go to check out, don't stand directly behind someone. And is someone stands directly behind you, you do have the right to politely ask them if they could move back some.
3. Don't Hoard
Just because the toilet paper isle is completely stocked doesn't mean you need to buy all of it. Think how you would feel if you really needed something and it wasn't available? Be considerate and purchase only what you and your family need for 2 weeks (and that foes for food as well. I have seem too many pictures of elderly people crying in the store because the shelves were empty. Most are already on a fixed income and can only afford the bare minimum).
1950 grocery shopper/Tumblr
4. Even During a Pandemic, MANNERS Make The Man/Woman
As you're shopping, if you see someone struggling to reach an item on the top shelf, or having a hard time lifting a heavy item, you can still offer to help them. Just kindly tell them if they wouldn't mind standing back that you would be more than willing to grab the item they need and them simply place it in their cart. Don't you feel better that you did your good deed for the day will practicing social distancing? And before I forget, say THANK YOU to any employees you encounter whether they're behind the deli, restocking shelves or working behind the check out register. I understand it's their job but they're continuing to show up to work everyday, putting themselves in danger in order for you to keep your fridge stocked. A simple "Thank you" or "I greatly appreciate your service" goes a long way for these overworked, tired employees.
Photo by Bert Hardy Archive/Getty Images
5. If You're Ill, STAY HOME
Whether you have COVID-19 or even a common cold, then please, STAY HOME! If you have just a common cold and need to go out, then wear a mask and practice social distancing at all costs.
6. Don't Litter
Congratulations you wore a mask, gloves, wiped everything down and safely secured yourself and purchases in your vehicle! Now what do you do with your safety gear? DON"T THROW them out into the parking lot! Do you think they magically disappear or disintegrate in 2 minutes? No, someone poor employee will be told to pick everything up. Would you want to do that job....probably not. Either throw everything away in one of the stores' trash cans or grab an extra plastic bag, on your way out, and use that as a make shift trash can until you can get home to dispose of it properly.
7. Follow the Designated Shopping Hours
Do you remember when you were younger, at the pool with your friends, when the lifeguard would blow his whistle and call Adult Swim? You didn't like it, but you hopped out and obeyed (and I'm pretty sure now that you are an adult, you can appreciate adult swim). Well do the same at stores. Many stores have issued designated shopping hours for senior citizens 1-2 days per week for an hour. Usually, it's when they first open. You can check the stores website to verify the time and dates. Remember, they are our elders and deserve our respect. How would you feel if your elderly parents/grandparents were trying to shop during these hours while young whippersnappers where zooming around them grabbing the last pack of toilet paper or pasta?
Browsing in Sandsbury's, Croydon 1950 via coil.com
8. Follow the Arrows
Relatively new, many grocery stores have placed designated arrows on each isle so all shoppers will travel the same path. Yes, this may slow you down but it helps maintain social distancing.
Tell us if you've experienced any uncouth grocery shoppers of late!