Another week another slightly different shopping experience. Our stores are now limiting the number of customers that can come inside at one time in order to better protect customers, protect employees, and allow more cleaning. Our store in Somersworth is limited to 75 people at a time. I arrived at 7 AM on Friday for my “new normal” shopping day and had to wait in a line of 10 people or so next to the carts that were spaced six feet apart. As one person exited, another one was allowed in. It was all very orderly and I only waited about 10 minutes under cover from the rain.
Once inside, an employee wiped down a cart and pushed it over to me. Stock was very good in every area except chicken for some reason. Otherwise there was moderate to normal supply of everything. Everyday staples including milk, eggs, and butter are limited to 2 per person. With reduced capacity the store was pretty quiet. Senior hours have moved from certain days of the week to every day from 6 – 7 AM so there were some seniors filtering out as I went in. About ¼ of people were wearing masks. I was not. Cashiers have masks and gloves and the whole place smells like AJAX. There are no plexiglass shields between customers and cashiers, but there is a sign asking you to stand near the pin pad for “enhanced” social distancing.
Home schooling was the same rollercoaster it always is with us (mostly me) stressing out about what activities to plan each night and the boys traveling the spectrum of reluctance, focus, complaining, tears, crazy, and back again the next day. They did have some awesome time outside early in the week followed by two days of rain that kept everyone indoors. Ironically the dry days were dramatic whereas the wet days were quiet. Long story short, they were sharing their playhouse, it wasn’t amenable, one of them moved out to the deck, and both came into the house in tears. The rainy days were quiet because they were super focused on building Legos together. It was quite adorable.
All in all a similar week to the one before. We still had bad schedules on some days but moved schoolwork around dynamically to make it work. There were days where Sally did most of the schooling and days where I did it. We’ve been wishing for a more structured schedule and we got one starting next week. After looking at it we wonder if we should have been careful what we wished for. While the activities seem to be more straightforward, we don’t have any choice anymore as teachers want photos. It’s not horrible, just another adjustment.
The weekend weather was nice with us spending time in the dry weather and waiting for the Noggin Factory Easter Bunny to drive through the neighborhood. Though home schooling is stressful, the house always needs cleaning, and dishes never cease I’ve been reflecting on how fortunate we all are at the moment. We both still have jobs, we are able to work from home, our kids have teachers that care about them, and none of us are sick. Going to the grocery store feels a bit scarier each week but at least we’re not in a hospital worrying about how to make our protective gear last longer. Staying home may be boring but it is truly easy in comparison with what our first responders, store clerks, and delivery workers have to deal with.
The economy’s going to be a disaster when this is all over and there may be impacts to us at that point. Hopefully Dumb Donald doesn’t open things up to early and get everyone killed. Cases and deaths are still rising in the U.S. and New Hampshire won’t hit its peak for another couple of weeks, so we’re in this for a while. Italy is finally starting to trend downward, which is awesome, but it takes a while to get things moving. There is no instant recovery. Even China is taking its time spinning things back up so they don’t trigger a second wave of infections.
This will have a lasting impact.