I could have avoided shopping this week, though we were out of several things in the produce line, so I'm glad I did. Since many businesses reopened yesterday, albeit with restrictions, I'm expecting an uptick in COVID-19 cases soon, so I'd rather shop now than later if I can. Not, I hasten to add, that I disagree with the idea of beginning to reopen businesses, though I think we may be being a bit hasty, and the last thing I want to do is to have to go back and do this all over again. Switzerland is starting from a strong position as far as virus cases go, plus they tend to be generally more compliant. The U.S. not so much.
Be that as it may, I had a great experience at the grocery store. Although there weren't many cars on the road at 7 a.m. (senior shopping is 7-8), I was not too happy with the number in the Publix parking lot. While I was still in the car, putting on my protective gear, I noticed a rather scruffy individual (but aren't we all scruffy these days?) coming out of the store, not wearing a mask. That made up my mind. I drove to another, smaller Publix not far away. Their parking lot was considerably less dense, and there weren't many shoppers in the store. Everyone I saw, customers and store workers, wore a mask, though I think I was the only one with gloves. True, one woman was wearing her mask around her neck—but the next time I saw her it was in the proper position.
I'm still inclined to believe the doctors who say that nothing less than a properly-fitted N95 mask will protect the wearer from the virus. So, why do I wear one? First of all, my lovely homemade mask (no, I didn't make it) has non-woven fabric between the layers of cotton, which does a much better job of catching virus particles. It still leaks around the edges, but it will help contain an errant cough or sneeze on my part, and I always thought non-hospital masks were more about protecting other people, rather than the wearer, anyway.
But most of all, I wear a mask because of what it says to other people. We have reached the point where masks have become such an issue that not wearing a mask sends an "I don't care about anyone else" message. Possibly that is 100% wrong, but it's what we have to deal with right now, and I consider it a small price to pay to send an encouraging message to a neighbor—and possibly protect him a bit, too.
(On the other hand, the problem with masks is that they hide smiles, and a smile is a pretty encouraging message all by itself.)
So, everyone was wearing masks, everyone was friendly, everyone kept a decent distance (usually well more than six feet), PLUS they finally had my favorite hamburger and hot dog buns in stock, and they were BOGO! What's not to like?
For the record, and the curious, the shelves were well stocked. There were a couple of empty spots, rather odd I thought: I mean, frozen French fries and green beans? I could have bought just about anything else, though not always my favorite brand in the paper goods department. Meat, which I've been told is the next "toilet paper," was plentiful.