Tales of a grocery store clerk

This past week marked the one year “anniversary” (that word to me means a happy occasion, which this most definitely is not!) of the beginning of the pandemic and a new way of life. So much has changed over this past year, it is mind-blowing.

Retail stores have experienced some big changes. I had a discussion with my store manager yesterday – he showed me a picture of how the store looked one year ago – the line up was insane, the shelves were scarily empty, and it appeared that an apocalypse had or was about to occur.

Flash forward a year, and we now have to ask every single person who comes in whether they have symptoms, have travelled, and so on and so on – I am sure many of you know what I’m talking about. People are getting tired of being questioned. And they are getting tired of being masked. A lot of people want to get vaccinated and we are all waiting patiently for that to happen.

Here in Ontario, we are waiting our turn depending on the age. The over 80s are going first (now that the front line workers have been vaccinated, or mostly, now), and then 70’s, etc. As a grocery store clerk, we are anticipating that in April, our time will be coming up to be vaccinated. I will be at the front of that line! I want to be able to travel and go and see my new grandchild in the summer, and see my son and daughter in law.

I want to be able to work and show a smile to those people are serving. I have adjusted to wearing a mask. It’s been a year, and it’s necessary. What’s amazing is the amount of colds people are getting – basically none! Amazing how the insistence of washing hands, keeping a safe distance, and wearing a mask seems to have eliminated most people getting colds or the flu. Perhaps we should remember this in years to come.

So while we are all struggling each day to try to stay positive as this pandemic continues a year later, let’s remember that one day, it will be gone, and life as it is will return to “normal” – whatever that may be. Let’s be patient in the stores with the clerks and employees and our fellow shoppers. Get vaccinated if you can. Keep your distance. And put on a smile behind that mask – because it will show in your eyes!

Until next week…

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