Shopping Woes

When I was out for grocery shopping on Apr 4, the FreshCo I go to had a line up outside that stretched a fair distance around the plaza. Next to the FereshCo is a Guardian Drugs, a tax prep place, a dental office, and a Lakeridge Health office followed by a barber shop and a couple fast food joints. I’d say the line was 200 meters over all. Please note that ALL of the stores had a closed sign up. Only Lakeridge Health was actually staffed and open for business (with a closed sign on the door). A staffer came out and complained about people being in front of the door (the one with the closed sign on it).

Once we got to the front of the line there was a bit of an issue since there were two (2) of us together but the “door man” still let us through together. Today that changed. They enforced the number of people inside the store. So it was a 1 out, 1 in scenario. Since the line was very short at that point we let a couple of people go ahead of us since they were solo. After a while though we gave up (20 minutes) and went to the next store on our normally scheduled trip. This is at 08:12 when things are not too busy.

Also today they put up a notice that the line is supposed to be to the left of the doors instead of the right (where everyone actually was). The problem with the left is that they have skids of garden material lined up there thus reducing the usable area to 3 feet wide and you have to walk down to Poppey’s next door just to get in the line due to the barriers. Once in this line up you can not get out without climbing the 5 foot tall skids that are blocking access to the parking lot. It is also dark in this section due to limited lighting.

Going across the road to the NoFrills we got in the door no problem which is good because it was raining out. NoFrills is also limiting access but let us in together no problem. I ended up getting more than I did normally at this store, partly because I did not get anything at FreshCo, but much was also targets of opportunity. Some were “new” items on the shelf that I thought I’d try out.

When asked, the “door man”, and another staffer, at FreshCo were unable to answer the question of “how many are allowed in the store?”.

So I see the “undocumented” policy as possibly discriminatory when applied against “family” groups. Do they enforce the 1 for 1 against a husband & wife team?

So, at this time, my father and I are debating on just not bothering to stop at FreshCo anymore despite the fact that we have been shopping at that store since before it rebranded oh so many years ago.

Another thing I have noticed at these stores is the use of masks and gloves. Masks are good. The use of gloves is not. They either do not understand the proper use of gloves or only care about themselves. In the case of gloves at the checkout, the person doing the checkout does not change gloves between customers. This is contrary to published medical guidelines. This is called “cross contamination”. Say the first person through the checkout had something. Traces are left on everything they touch. The checkout person touches everything to pass it through the scanner therefore their gloves pickup traces of contamination. Without changing gloves the checkout person touches everything of yours transferring traces onto your items thus spreading any contamination.

I know some places, like Walmart, are cleaning the conveyor belts after every customer. But they wear the same gloves. I do not think these people realize that what they are using for cleaning requires time to work as they just wipe it off. The Lysol disinfectant sprays and wipes have a 10 minute contact time for disinfection meaning the surface must be wet for 10 minutes. Naturally the stuff dries before that time is up so you have to spray again. Alcohol is 2-8 minutes contact time. Hydrogen Peroxide depends on the percentage but 3% has a 1-5 minute contact time IIRC. The last time I went to Walmart they “cleaned” the conveyor after each customer but there was 0 contact time since they sprayed and wiped immediately.

The stores should have a contactless dispenser of alcohol or hand sanitizer at each checkout for the clerk to use after each customer. This would reduce the cross contamination. Not sure what to so with the till or the pin pad though.

Another thing I have noticed is that people are ignoring the direction markers on the floor in the aisles. I’ve pointed out the markers to a number of people after I first got caught by them. One way traffic is the only way to actually control the distancing. The aisles are just too narrow otherwise. The real pain is people standing in the aisle comparing items and taking their time doing so as you have to wait for them if the social distancing is to be applied.

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