I went to the supermarket yesterday for the first time in eight weeks, first four weeks having been spent on the infamous “death” a ship, the Zaandam and then the Rotterdam and two quarantined.
I admit I was shocked.
There was a guard at the door to assure you had a mask. Constant announcements reminded you to stay six feet away and that only one member of a family could be in the store. The deli and fish sections were closed.
I felt like I was shopping in Venezuela or another third world country. Not only were some aisles totally empty, but those that had some items were brands I had never seen or heard of before.
I was struck by the regimentation; one way aisles, marks on the floor where to stand in line for checkout, etc. There were the signs limiting quantities which didn’t matter as there was nothing on the shelf.
The masked shoppers moved like zombies with automstic distancing mechanisms. We were like one of those magnetic Scotty dogs we played with as kids pushing each other away. At one point I reached for an item and heard “six feet, six feet.” I had violated the zone. Then I got stuck behind a robot (literally) that wouldn’t get closer to another shopper.
At one point I was looking fruitlessly for dish detergent and found my shopping cart was gone. I panicked, I can’t do this again I thought, has it come to intrastore theft? A hurried search found the cart several aisles away in the hands of an older woman who apologized profusely and assured me she was using plastic to cover the handle, as if it mattered.
My mask fogged my glasses so I couldn’t read labels, I took off my glasses. It’s a good thing I’m nearsighted. Even though I was not in a rush I felt pressure to get the heck out of the store. It was stressful and unnerving. It was unAmerican.
My shopping list proved useless so I rambled up and down aisles taking what I could find as close to what we needed as possible … plus a bag of pretzels just for fun.
I had heard of paper product shortages, but no rice or baked beans, no frozen vegetables, no cranberry sauce? Plenty of ice cream though so I splurged on some Cherry Garcia… and I’m going to break up some of those pretzels on top. Try it sometime.😃 I picked up prepackaged American cheese, my fogged glasses turned it into Swiss.
The question is, are shortages the result of production and distribution problems or hoarding? No doubt some of each.
Well, we all understand why this is taking place and that it’s for our benefit, but I would really like the spoiled America back where we can buy all the stuff we don’t need.