By: Ebonee Burrell | Editor in Chief
Not all heroes wear capes, in this case, they are dealing with panicked customers in the middle of a pandemic. The novel coronavirus outbreak has affected every U.S. state and shut down nearly all businesses in the country–except for grocery stores.
With the fear of grocery stores eventually closing, shoppers are crowding stores and stocking up on necessities that will last over time. Items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, meats, bread, and eggs have been wiped clean from shelves in a matter of days.
One local store in Mobile is affected by panicked shoppers, leading to possible shortages and high demand within the store. Due to the fast-spreading virus, workers were not prepared for the reactions of shoppers.
“I never realized how scared people can get during a pandemic, and it has definitely made me more cautious of those around me,” Front End Manager Peter Ly said.
Most stores have placed a limit on the fast-selling items to give others a chance to get to them. They have also shortened hours to close early so workers can sanitize the store.
“It has been crazy, and it’s nothing I have ever seen before,” Ly explained, “It was just a never-ending line of customers with carts full of groceries.”
Employees are also taking extra precautions since they are the ones that are in most contact with others. Cashier Anna Strayhorn explained the adjustments she has made to ensure she is staying safe while in the workplace.
“I make sure I wash my hands and disinfect my register after every few customers,” she said. “I also try to distance myself away from customers as much as I can.”
With this experience being a first for everyone, it is unknown how long this will last. With hopes that everyone will practice social distancing and self-quarantine to slow the spread, it is likely this will be over sooner than later.