In case someone out there is interested in what goes through my mind during my weekly grocery shopping expedition here in Salem, Oregon during the coronavirus crisis, and why wouldn't there be, here's a pretty accurate glimpse of my thoughts last Monday.
[Note: my wife and I already had some N95 masks that we got during the Fukushima nuclear plant scare following the tsunami some years back when radiation was crossing the Pacific.]
Getting into my car: OK, check my protective gear. N95 mask. Three pairs of lightweight garden gloves. Hand sanitizer. Disinfecting wipes. Plastic bag to put used gloves in. Yup, all there. Time to fire up the Subaru and head out.
Approaching Trader Joes: Sure hope there isn't a huge line to get into the store. Leg has been hurting from damn sciatica. Don't want to stand for long time.
Entering Trader Joes parking lot: Oh, boy. Just six people in line. Sweet!... No, wait. Shit. Line goes around the side of the store. Just have to tough out the standing. Now, mask on. Gloves on. Ready to rumble.
Trader Joe's social distancing line: Check time. 1:50. See how long it takes to get in the door. Geez, forgot my cap. Sun is warmer than I thought. Just April. Must be global warming. Not many people with masks. Oh, there's some. Old folks like me. Good to see Trader Joes employees in masks. Ah, made it in. Just took ten minutes. Not bad.
Returning to car after Trader Joes shopping: Damn, touched door unlock button with my gloves on! Where's a disinfectant wipe? Got to take gloves off without touching outside of them. Tricky. Ah, did it. Now put them in plastic bag. Clean door with wipe. Got to remember to take gloves off before touching door.
Fred Meyer parking lot: Need fresh pair of gloves. Pull mask up. Still got grocery list in pocket? Yes. Time for second grocery shopping trip.
Inside Fred Meyer: First, need salad mix and bananas... Wait, what's in that guy's shopping cart? Big package of toilet paper? OMG! OMG! Could it be?... Oh, no, it isn't. Brawny paper towels. Still, go for it. Paper towels hard to find also... Yes, wow, so many packages of Brawny. One to customer...fine with me. Maybe now we can stop tearing paper towels in small pieces whenever we need one.
Returning to car after Fred Meyer shopping: Focus, focus, remember -- gloves off before touching door handle. Dude, you remembered! Senility hasn't arrived just yet. Still, dab on some hand sanitizer just in case before pressing start button.
Entering Starbucks parking lot: Must reward myself. Went to three stores, Trader Joes, Fred Meyer, LifeSource. Hard day grocery shopping. Not really enjoyable anymore. But paper towels! Hope not long line in drive-up lane... OK, kind of long. Who cares. Craving grande decaf nonfat vanilla latte... Fire up iPhone Starbucks app. Hold up so barista can scan it. Ah, good to hear "hope you're having a good day." Actually, I am. Paper towels!