When the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages, grocery stores were open and made many alterations to keep us all safe whilst shopping for essentials. Those measures by retailers were supplemented by many patrons wearing masks/face coverings and some even wearing disposable gloves.
There was a lot of to and fro from health officials as to whether cloth face coverings/masks were protecting the wearer. Later it was determined that although the cloth coverings only gave marginal protection to the wearer, a greater benefit was by not subjecting a person’s breath/cough droplets to others where physical distancing could be difficult.
Grocery stores are prime areas for close contact, as even with one-way aisles there are many “pinch points” in the stores. On recent visits to grocery stores in Sidney, I have found that customers wearing some sort of face covering have become a very small minority, and instead of one person shopping, more and more are couples creating even tighter spaces.
If you are asymptomatic with the virus, you may not know you have the virus and not show any symptoms, making you feel that a mask is not necessary, but that is not the case. By wearing a face covering/mask, you are protecting other people and their loved ones. Not wearing one is making a statement that you really don’t care about contaminating other people, surfaces and goods in close proximity to your oral/nasal emissions.
Store owners need to do better too. Cashiers have shields now, but the shelf stockers, etc. need to be wearing masks as they are often in aisles where one needs to pass close by.
Don’t be selfish, shop alone and please, please wear a face covering when in busy stores with tight quarters.
If you choose to wear disposable gloves, please dispose of them responsibly instead of throwing them on the ground somewhere or out of your car window. Not touching your face and washing or sanitizing one’s hands after shopping is a much better course of action rather than wearing gloves.