The Covid19 Grocery Chronicles

Realizing that I’m out of bread, needed for dinner, I walk down to the small neighbourhood shop to pick one up. When I get there, the lady that runs it tells me with a beaming smile, that she’s all stocked up! It was difficult, she tells me, and things were hard to find but she’s got everything you’ll need; masks, Vitamin C, Panadol etc. All at only about 50% more than the original price!

Before the end of the day, a press conference by the Ministry of Health is called; they have

confirmed that the first case of Coronavirus/Covid19 has been reported. Panic fills the air, the Caribbean region comprises relatively small islands and we have seen Covid19 bringing bigger countries, countries with much more economic power and to their knees.

I go to the grocery, because let's face it, I’m not stocked up on everything that I will need and with everything that’s going on getting a little extra will probably be best. In a country where the majority of our essential or preferred goods are imported stocking up doesn’t seem like a half bad idea. Only when I get there I realize that everyone had the same idea and now, amidst a sea of people floundering about, I remember the new trending term ‘social distancing.’ People are so close to each other that even a .25 cent piece wouldn't be able to pass between them!

I look around and realize that trolleys are laden with toilet paper. I think. Is toilet paper scarce?! Should I also pick up a bale?! I Look back; aisles filled with trolleys, people looking agitated.

Guess if I run out, I’ll use water. Trying to keep a distance from everyone is proving futile and I have resorted to wishful thought; everyone around me is perfectly healthy! Just then, a sneeze erupts somewhere near me and instead of saying the usual ‘bless you,’ people take a step back, eyes wide with panic. A tall man, hunched over his trolley, raises his face from the crook of his elbow smiles and apologizes telling everyone not to worry, it's just his, ‘Sinuses acting up.’

After an eternity of waiting, my items are finally checked and I head out, get in my car and come to the sudden realization that I don’t have any hand sanitizer at home and bleach never crossed my mind, clouded by my need to get food and snacks! Suddenly the 50% markup doesn’t seem so bad.

The next day, another case of Covid19 is reported. The tall man hunched over the trolley?!

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