During these ‘shelter in place’ times, save for daily walks, I’ve been limiting myself to going out to replenish groceries every 7-10 days on behalf of myself and my older neighbor. My sole destination is Trader Joe’s. I’m in awe and admiration in terms of how they’ve been handling the shopping experience since SIP began. It starts with the fact that they’re only allowing 25 people in their stores at a time. They also spray everyone’s hands with hand sanitizer before you enter the store (and you can request it on the way out). They don’t allow you to bring your own bags — instead they provide paper bags for now. You can only buy two of any one item; for some items like toilet paper, only one pack. You are also limited to just one shopping cart per family.

People are generally being pretty good about having to wait in line out front, of course practicing social distancing; T.J.’s have tape on the sidewalk out front AND in front of check-out counters to reinforce that. When you get in the store, the shelves are very well stocked; you can get most anything you need — and that’s incredibly important and meaningful psychologically to offset panic fears. And, of course, the employees are as friendly, supportive, and caring as they always are. In my view, they are worthy of calling heroes as much as first responders in that they are there for us, exposing themselves to CV-19 in interactions with us, and yet they’re demonstrating how a well-run retail operation can adapt in these times. I make sure I thank the employees and managers every time I’m in the store; they’re first rate!

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