Consumers – navigating shopping in the new normal

Author : teriann

Shopping has always been a relaxing experience for me. It was more than just spending money, I enjoyed the interactions with the other customers and sales clerks, browsing aisles and identifying things that I would love to afford one day.

Then there were those hidden gems, items  that you were not really going to buy but suddenly discovered that you needed. However since March 2020, the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic has changed how we interact with others  including how we shop.

I have now switched to online shopping as I can still browse, fill my online cart and choose not to buy the items right away. It is not the same of course, but occasionally there are bargains and some stores even have delivery or curbside options.

What about grocery shopping?

COVID 19 Restrictions

The pandemic evolved in a series of restrictions including physical distancing, santization protocols and wearing of masks. So what does that mean for the average shopper?

Well for one thing, shopping now requires customers to set out earlier than perhaps they would have before. Since stores have a maximum number of persons allowed inside, customers can end up waiting in long lines outside of the venue. So an early start means less time waiting around.  Since some communities are under curfew, it also makes sense to get all your errands done early so that you can be back home in good time.

Be safe!

When going shopping, carry your own wipes, or use one provided by the store to wipe down the handles of the shopping cart or basket. I never thought of it before this, but those shopping carts are potential carriers of infections as the handles are constantly being touched by customers and employees who push them back into place. Although I have noticed that supermarkets have persons stationed to sanitize customers, not all of them are wiping the carts after each use.

We have had to use reusable shopping bags for some time now, however how clean are your bags? It is best to ensure that they are cleaned or washed before each use.

It is easy to remember to practice social distancing while cashing as supermarkets have markers to indicate how far apart you need to stand from other shoppers, and store employees. On the other hand, sometimes you get so caught up in reaching for selected items that you don’t realize that the aisle is congested. So look before you enter an aisle, if too man persons are congregating, move on to another aisle and circle back when it might be less crowded.

Also remember to keep your hands away from your face. Persons wearing masks but who are constantly adjusting them, pulling them up and down are defeating one of the purposes of wearing them. Ensure that your masks fit properly before you leave home.

It is recommended that you wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds when you return home and again after you put away your groceries.

Some supermarkets do offer curbside pickup, this is an ideal arrangement for those who want to skip a lot of the hassle. You simply call ahead and pay over the phone or online then pick up your groceries.

So what’s your take? How are you shopping during the pandemic? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

Tags: , , ,

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner.
The Gleaner reserves the right not to publish comments that may be deemed libelous, derogatory or indecent.
To respond to The Gleaner please use the feedback form.

Leave a Reply