Your Mission: Heading to The Store in 2020
The objective is to get in, get supplies, and get out.
Every time I go into a grocery store I feel like I am on a mission with a Navy Seal team. The objective is to get in, get supplies, and get out. It's a quick, yet dangerous mission. You must wear the proper attire or you run the risk of endangering yourself. One must be prepared beyond the mask, gloves, and sanitizer. These have become tools of the trade, but anyone who has entered one of these urban hot zones knows that it's not that simple. There are many people who can't follow these rules or choose to ignore them, this is America, damn it, and are you truly free if someone tells you how to shop? So you need a game plan, make a list, not on your phone, that's just something else you have to disinfect later. Write the list on a piece of paper, make it detailed and in order from what's available at the entrance of the store, then aisle by aisle. This piece of paper becomes your treasure map and the X that marks the spot is the image of a floor decal telling you where six feet from the shopper in front of you at the checkout is.
Once you get to the oasis of your choice you are handed a wiped down cart from a sunken-eyed employee who is barely standing due to the intoxicating fumes that they breathe for eight hours a day. This will be the last time you see disinfectant in the wild. The shelves in the cleaning supply aisle, that were once full of nasty chemicals, are empty. The bare shelves remind you of trying to get that hot ticket item a week before Christmas, only to find that the only things remaining are the worst gifts. I can use Bleach as a hand sanitizer, right?
Now you are inside and the game has begun! A new rule is in place where each aisle is now a "one-way" lane. Like this town doesn't have enough one-way streets. Most people follow this rule, but it makes backtracking frustrating, so good thing you brought that list. When you turn down a new aisle you make eye contact with the other person and feel like Clint Eastwood in a Western. You are wondering who is going to shoot first, is this a friend or foe? You just pray that person is as prepared as you are, so that you can both get through the aisle quickly and six feet apart, even though most aisle's are barely even six feet wide. If not you are standing in limbo, awkwardly until the person moves. You take turns like you are playing a live-action chess game.
Now that you have gotten supplies and checked your list, even though it was hard to hold with gloves on and impossible to read through steam covered glasses, caused by the mask you are wearing. You get in line. This is no place to be a jerk, you almost made it, you can smell the sweet smell of freedom, which doesn't smell like whatever the last thing you ate was that has been recycling through your nostrils over the last twenty minutes. This is the place where people will be closer than anywhere else in the store, hold tight you are almost there. Once you interact with the clerk, always remember to be polite, they are working for very little pay in a job that's more stressful than most people have to deal with.
Finally you have returned home, but now you have to cleanse everything, all the products you bought are unclean and must be disinfected. Wipe it all down, throw away the bags, and wash your very chapped hands for the millionth time. Now that you are fully stocked up you can finally make that meal you have been craving all week. Then you get the ingredients out and realize that you forgot a key component to the recipe, even though it was on your list! This probably happened due to the high tension and the foggy lenses. oh well, I guess I will have grilled cheese and soup again for dinner.