There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Grocery Shopping in the Time of Coronavirus

When the snowstorm hit over the weekend, we simply sat and watched it snow. It was great that we didn't have anywhere we really had to go. But eventually, once we had dug out, we needed to make a grocery run. We were down to just one egg!

Now that it's winter and our activities are not constrained by my work schedule, we typically plan our trips to town on week days between the storms and ultra-cold weather. It's less busy then.

We sometimes nab a cheesesteak while we're there, as we did on this day; it's a little something to look forward to. We have been getting occasional takeout these days, but once in a while at C.C.'s, we eat in. We check first; if it's crowded, we come back later, or quickly grab our snack and eat it in the car. If we eat in, we sit as far away from people as possible.

A grocery run in the old days was one thing. In the past few years, my husband did most of the grocery shopping himself, while I was at work. But a grocery run in the days of coronavirus is something different. And now that I'm not working anymore, I usually go along.

This was the first day that we both double-masked, because we read that it was a good idea. It felt awkward. I had that quick little moment of mask-panic when I got into the store, where I felt like I had to run screaming or die. But with a bit of adjusting and a deep calming breath, I was OK.

I took my list and my husband took his list, and we headed in different directions. But we eventually met back up again. Horseradish was on my list, and they actually keep it in TWO different places: one set by the mustard, the rest in dairy products. (Dairy? Horseradish?)

I saw a horseradish jar I thought I wanted by the mustard, but I just couldn't reach it. Oh the perils of being 5'2". I was trying to figure out whether to try to use a lower shelf as a sort of ladder to climb up (and calculating the odds of it falling over on me), or to ask someone for help (while trying NOT to get too close to strangers). But then my husband came by and we got it all sorted out.

There were two college-age girls with a cart who dogged me at every turn. I went to the spaghetti sauce aisle, and before I could even compare a couple of jars, they were right behind me, too close. No, that is NOT six feet!

I took refuge in the next aisle; I turned around, and THERE THEY WERE AGAIN. I came back to the sauce aisle and SO DID THEY. I finally grabbed the closest and cheapest two jars of spaghetti sauce and practically FLED to get away from them.

Then there is always the random stranger who stops in the middle of everything and stands there checking a phone, blocking access for all. Hello, couldn't you please do that in some far-away corner, rather than the middle of the store? Can't you see people need to get by?

We eventually made it to the checkout counter without further incident. They almost overcharged us for the apples, but my husband caught it in time and they fixed it. And then we took it all back to the car and packed the cold stuff in coolers with cold packs, and put all of the bags in.

When we get home, I still wipe down the groceries with disinfectant wipes, which is the phase I had just completed when I took this picture. Wipe it down, give it a few minutes to dry, put it all away. I don't know if this is a typical grocery order for a week, but here is our list:

aloe vera juice, apples, bananas, bread (both French and wheat), broccoli, butter, butter spread (Land O'Lakes only, please!), cheese (cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella, ricotta), disinfectant wipes, eggs, ham, horseradish, humidifier filter, milk (both white and chocolate), orange juice, peanuts (mostly for the birds), pepperoni, potato stix, snack bars, spaghetti sauce, and yogurt

I stood there with a feeling of accomplishment, for with this purchase, we now have all of the ingredients to make a nice ham dinner, stuffing, scalloped potatoes (never made them before but hey, I'm game), taco dip (see extras), a fabulous lasagna, and apple crisp, among other things. And then I put it all away. Good food, waiting for another day!

My soundtrack song is for those two girls who dogged me with their cart. So here we are: grocery shopping in the time of coronavirus. Here is Sting, with Don't Stand So Close to Me.

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