The new normal looked good today. Tuesday, as you know if you have been reading here for very long, is my usual grocery shopping and errand running day. I left around 9 this morning, pockets loaded with the necessities —phone, wipe, credit card–mask around my neck, glasses on my face, keys in my hand.
First stop, the dry cleaners. Although I was the only one there, mask was on, cash in hand and I made sure to leave a bit more than my bill. I appreciate their being there for me when I need them. I may not need dry cleaning for months now and I hope they are able to stay in business.
Next was the local grocery store. Glasses off. Mask on. Only one way in and out of the store now which is fine because I get even more steps that way. A clean cart is waiting for me. I thank the young lady who is doing the sanitizing and it startles her. “Oh, sure, that’s okay, thanks.” I’m guessing not many people are telling her thanks.
There are very few customers in the store. Just like it used to be, pre pandemic shutdown. The clerks are busy working and restocking. I chat with a few that I know. I thank all that I see. Again, they don’t seem to know how to handle the gratitude. I’ve heard of shoppers being mean to store clerks, which just blows me away.
One clerk in the deli was stocking the cold case as I came up and she asked if I had found everything. When I told her yes, that I was glad to see the artichoke/parmesan spread back in stock, she laughed. “Yes, just for you, I’m replenishing it right now,” and sure enough she had more in her hand to add to the other containers. I thanked her and told her I appreciated being so well cared for. More laughter.
Only one checkout stand open, just like the old days. The lines are still there to keep us six feet apart, but there just aren’t that many to line up. The store still requires its on bags and I’m glad to see they have replenished those with the handles, too. Two weeks ago it was just plain brown paper bags.
Still empty shelves in paper goods, cleaning supplies and beans and rice sections. I think the soup shelves looked pretty sparse, too. But, basically everything I needed was there. The store was quiet. The clerks were working. Everyone was masked and keeping distance. All’s well with the new normal.