Dystopian Grocery Store

Mindful of Dr. Heather Morrison’s guidance, I have avoided grocery shopping as much as possible, and had not been out to Sobeys in the last 10 days. But our staples were running low, and Oliver slept in, so I let him sleep and dashed out this morning to refill the pantry.

The first change I noticed was a disinfection station for carts and a handwashing station for people at the entrance; I did my duty and scrubbed the cart and my hands well. And then turned the “do not touch your face” dial in my brain up to maximum.

Shopping in a store with 8 foot aisles under a “stay 6 feet away from anyone” regime was tricky, but I mostly pulled it off. That I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and that I was in a heightened state of “I might not shop again for weeks” anxiety led me to buy things like a pint of winter strawberries and a bag of hemp hearts, things I normally wouldn’t. But I was generally rational otherwise. Oh, also, the tzatziki-flavoured Triscuits.

I kept my distance at the cash, and let the person in front of me check out completely before unloading my cart. Sobeys, sensibly, isn’t bagging into bags you bring yourself, so there was something of a mad dash to unload and then load. I got to scan my own Airmiles card on the big scanner; that was a thrill.

When I got home I was uncertain as to whether I needed to disinfect every package I unpacked, so I made a stab at doing so, focusing on the things most likely to have been fondled by others.

I did not buy any tempeh.

And so now we’re set at least until the first week of April.

Oliver, meanwhile, has developed what seems to be a sinus infection; if avoiding COVID-19 means he needs to sample from a buffet of non-fatal illnesses, I’m not happy, but I’ll live with it.

I appear to be on a bereaved-widower plan at our family doctor’s, as they’ve been putting me through to talk to the nurse on the phone, which has never happened before. While I’m not without parenting skills, suddenly occupying all of the family’s C-level offices means that I lack the comfort of someone else to double-check with, so I’ll take all the help I can get.