The corona virus pandemic continues to affect us all every single day. Kansas has started Phase 1 of the 3-phase re-opening system. Governor Laura Kelly created this 3-phase timeline as a way to slowly and safely reopen restaurants, hair salons, and all non essential businesses that were forced to close their doors for the past several weeks. However, not only non essential businesses are being affected by this pandemic, but even essential businesses that have remained open —have had their fair share of changes, restrictions, and challenges.
I work in a grocery store so this hits close to home for me. Many changes have been made to our local grocery stores. No outings are quite as simple as they were in the past. There are many more restrictions to ensure a safer world. Not only have many new restrictions been added to grocery stores, but many of their prices have raised due to supply and demand. Gas prices have gone down substantially but goods such as ground beef and eggs have almost doubled in price. The corona virus has affected many meat packing companies causing them to close their doors or minimize their shipments to grocery stores—causing prices to soar.
This has caused customers to buy out all meat in many stores with the fear that they will not be able to get it then next time they come to the grocery store. Also, the local health department has enforced restrictions on most businesses. So our grocery stores have to keep track of the number of customers who enter their building. To effectively complete this task they are requiring every customer to take a cart to keep a running tally. They are also wiping down the cart between every customer, along with the counter, and the credit card machine. It’s surreal to see how much our world is changing.
I’m not sure our “normal” will ever mean the same thing. I think people will always think a little harder about having clean hands and sharing drinks or even when someone coughs. But, I know we will get through this and create a new normal, just remember to greet your essential worker with a smile.