Six feet of social distancing at the check outs but not in the aisles

Have you noticed what is happening now when you are in a grocery store or a pharmacy since the outbreak of Coronavirus / COVID-19, and the implementation of the “Six feet of social distancing” rules/guidelines?  Sadly, all bets are off when you start down the aisles  that you’ll experience the same rules/guidelines being in place or being adhered to by all shoppers. 

Giant Eagle grocery stores, for example, now have pasted on the floors on the ends of the aisle with the green arrow to proceed up the aisle or a red “X” that you are not to go up that direction in the aisle.

I’ve heard the announcements about the change, however, there are no overhead hanging signs that reflect the directional changes in the aisles – signs that would be directly over the aisles at the same height level of where shoppers often look to see if pizza or frozen vegetables are in that aisle, so guess what — few adhere to proceeding in the proper direction in the aisles because of this lack of signage.  They aren’t listening to the muffled voice telling them to look on the floor for the pasted down signs telling them to proceed up an aisle or not to proceed. 

So, no social distancing in the aisles; in fact bottlenecks occur also due to extra cardboard displays angled out into the aisles cutting down on the aisle width.  Not to mention needing to move around some workers doing their jobs with stocking the shelves – an understandable necessity!  But, then there are the random roving item checker robots that beep as they twist and turn while gliding along to take stock of the inventory or whatever else they do that I may not be aware of. 

So, now we come to better understand the reasons we are strongly recommended to wear cloth masks. I would add to look at the floor for the green arrows or the red “x’s” and make sure you are moving along in the right direction.  For stores that have no signage for the aisles, you are on your own to work your way through them and avoid other shoppers as much as you can.  This is about all we can do if we have to go out and maneuver our way through the stores to buy food and other supplies.

Such is life in our 21st Century living during a pandemic; and feeling our way through it and out of it.

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