Tag: 6 feet of separation

Social Distancing in Stores Is Harder Than We Think

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 5, 2020 | by Noreen Wise

Most of us have the face masks and facial coverings down. I rarely see anyone without, except outdoors. But shopping in Whole Foods the other day was a huge wake-up call that it will be difficult to safely reach the other side of covid, when the vaccine is released next year, if we don’t think of better solutions for grocery shopping.

So many well-intentioned people completely zone-out in a grocery store aisle. Are grocery aisles even 6 feet wide? It doesn’t seem like they are. I plan to bring a measuring tape next visit so I can prove this. The biggest shock, were the two Whole Foods’ employees who totally stoked my fears that I would get covid if they couldn’t keep their distance. They must have a timed task list. I get it, the shopper who stands in front of the shelf where you want to quickly grab a product and just continues staring at shelf undecided. That same shopper is also oblivious to the fact that you’re waiting for them to move because you have to stand six feet away.

How about the woman who invaded my space in front of a fruit display because I was trying to keep my six feet distance from a nearby shopper. But this woman, saw an opportunity to maneuver in front of me and grabbed the item I was going to select. That’s not right. The weird part was that it didn’t seem like she did this intentionally, but rather it was if her thoughts were a million miles away and she was trying to bee-line over to what she needed because she was in a rush and her mind was elsewhere. Regardless, it still presents a health risk.

The biggest shock came when the Whole Foods employee decided to open a register when the line became so long. With a long bank of approximately 10-12 registers with only two in use, she opened the register right next to the checkout lane I was in which meant her customer was only inches away from me while we both checked out. I quickly moved to stand 6 feet away, but neither the employee nor the customer seemed to be aware that we were all too close and the cashier should have opened a register further away.

Next time I’ll be more vocal and go straight to customer service and ask for intervention. I now view this experience as a trial run that revealed the short comings of which there are many. This is not a time to be quiet about important issues like covid. The pandemic is going to be around for the next 12 months. If we want to save lives, including our own, we have to speak up and give the store the opportunity to address the situation.

I just read in Bloomberg News that there are now social distancing bracelets that beep if we get too close. Buzz-off, an italian start-up, is one example. We all need these. Again, it’s about saving lives.

Good luck out there! 😷

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