Before I get into this post, I will preface by stating that at this moment (Saturday, March 21, 2020) I have not been tested or screened in any manner to confirm whether or not I actually have contracted this virus. Nor am I feeling ill to prompt me to seek testing.
Due to the fact that I work in retail/grocery, I am now considered an “Essential Worker” and my responsibility to show up as scheduled has not changed. If anything, I am picking up more shifts.
Our store, as I suspect with many businesses that are still open, are understaffed. That’s not a complaint, just the fact considering many parents can’t work while their kids are home. Some are home taking care of their family members that are at a higher risk due to their health concerns and some are probably home, self-isolating for their own concerns.
For me, my life hasn’t changed dramatically since last Thursday when the panic in my area (just outside of Ottawa) set in. I’m an introvert by nature, I go to work in town, I don’t leave the 2-mile radius often.
Am I concerned about contracting this virus? I’m realistic in assuming that it’s very likely that I will get it, but I feel that I’m healthy enough to recover from it. My husband works from home and we are stocked with enough food and OTC meds to get by should we have to self-quarantine.
The act of disinfecting the kitchen/bathroom counters, knobs, handles, and switches have been an additional chore that I have incorporated into my morning routine.
On social media, I’ve been encouraging the public to help us (retail workers) practice Social Distancing. Help Us Help You. We understand that you have to restock, you have errands to run, the kids are home and they’re getting cabin fever. This is not the time for a family outing to the store. Please allow ONE family member to do the shopping if you can help it.
Obviously, we are aware that some customers need assistance, some customers are single parents and have no choice but to bring their child(ren) into the store. We get it, no judgment, we are not policing the situation.
I had to clarify my statement when I suggested that one family member should do the shopping while leaving their family in the car. The comment was meant in the scenario that both parents or a responsible adult could remain in the vehicle with the child(ren). But people misinterpret and thought I was suggesting that a single parent leave their toddler in a car seat unattended in the parking lot… I didn’t think that I had to spell it out, but clearly, I do.
For the most part, residents in this area are practicing social distancing. I see others are not. Both parents and their 3 kids in the store running through the aisles, NOT social distancing. A group of teenagers wandering the store because it’s something to do, NOT social distancing. Four college bros shopping together, NOT social distancing. A resident that just came back from Florida, coughing claims they were “tested” at the airport, NOT social distancing or self quarantining for that matter.
Being screened at the airport (temperature is taken) is NOT the same as being tested for coronavirus.
Again, I get it. You’ve been away and just now returning home from abroad, you need food and to restock. Ask your community to help. Social media pages are set up in this area for that purpose. There are healthy people offering to assist with running errands and picking up groceries to drop them off at your door. Let them.
I know that social media is being flooded with all sorts of information, some helpful, some misleading and only creating more panic. Choose to get your information from the source, not some third party and certainly not through memes.
While I do have plenty to say, I will refrain. Lately, my opinions encourage others to treat me as their virtual punching bag.
I’ll leave you with this…
We are in this together, doing the best that we can. While most people will recover from Covid-19, many are at a huge disadvantage. If you have already started the self-isolation process, Thank You. If you have not because you feel it doesn’t apply to you, You are part of the problem. That last bit doesn’t apply to all of the essential workers that are being asked to put themselves at risk.
Stay calm and wash your hands 🙂