Today, I was able to get the van in and finally get the front brakes done.
We’ve got quite a bit of driving to do at the end of the month, so I’m glad to be able to do it now, instead of in the middle of all that.
It has been a few days since we’ve been in town, so we took advantage of the trip in. The garage is across the road from the grocery store we usually go to, so I took the opportunity to get a refill on our extra 5 gallon water jug, since the current one is getting low. (We have pretty much stopped drinking our well water completely, unless it’s boiled first, like for tea. )
The parking lot was full, and the store was quite busy! I had got an email from the company earlier about the changes they will be making over the next while, due to the Wuhan virus. They have not started locally, yet, but all stores will be installing plastic shields at the cash desks. The number of staff on shift has been increased, so that there are more people to do cleaning and stocking. Cashiers will stop regularly to sanitize the conveyor belts. The first hour of the day will be “senior’s hour”, so those most vulnerable can come in to shop with less exposure to others. Marks will be made on the floors for people to know how far apart to stay while waiting in line.
As someone who used to work as a grocery store cashier, I keep thinking how much I wish we could have been doing a lot of this stuff all the time. Especially cleaning the belt more often. I’ve had times when people’s meat juices leaked all over the belt, and not been able to clean it up right away because the next customers were putting their stuff on the belt already. They didn’t care that they were putting their groceries on a puddle. Then there’s the problem of customers leaving perishable foods – like meat, dairy and eggs – in random shelves and staff not finding the items until much later. I remember front facing one evening and discovering a block of cheese someone had shoved into the back of a shelf so long ago, it had started to mold. It’s one thing for someone to decide they don’t want an item and shoving on the nearest shelf, rather than putting it back where they got it. But why do people go out of their way to actually hide things they’re leaving behind like that?
It’s sad that it’s taken something like this to make people think about stuff like this!
Well. Probably not the customers who do already do stuff like this. At least the staff will have a chance to clean up after these people, before things become a major health hazard.
Thankfully, we didn’t need much – and didn’t need toilet paper, because there wasn’t any.
Once done at the grocery store, my daughter and I dropped the van off at the garage, then walked into the “downtown” area (which is one street… LOL). We hadn’t had breakfast yet, so we were thinking to stop at the Subway next to the pharmacy, where I needed to pick up a prescription refill.
The grocery store may have been busy, but the rest of town was pretty dead. Even the gas stations, despite gas prices having dropped down to 74.9 cents per liter. The other grocery store had a full parking lot, and the pharmacy was steadily busy, but that was about it.
When we got to the Subway, we found that their dining area was closed. Take out only. With over an hour to wait before the van would be finished, it was just too cold to eat outside!
So we walked up the block to the next restaurant. I saw someone coming out of it, so it had to be open, right?
Take out only.
So we kept on going, eventually crossing all the way to the marina area. Happily, our favorite Chinese restaurant was open, including the dining room. No buffet, though. Just off the menu orders. Which was fine by us!
We were the only people in the restaurant, besides staff.
The food was excellent. We got their meal for two, but their quantities were so generous, we brought home enough leftovers for another meal!
Then we walked through town again, stopping at the pharmacy. My daughter was able to confirm changes there. They will be closed on Sundays, so she’s going to be down to just 2 days a week. The staff is supposed to do cleaning every hour – all counter displays at the cash desk are gone – and the store will be closing to customers an hour earlier, so staff can use the remaining hour to clean and sanitize.
They did have toilet paper, though! Just the 4 packs were left, with a limit of 1 per purchase. When I got to the counter, there was a young couple (I’d guess them to be in their early 20’s) in front of me with their one package. They were talking to each other about who was going to get the 4 pack of toilet paper, as it appeared they’d be sharing it. The woman asked if they could buy more, and were told they could only get the one package. There was, however a single 12 pack of toilet paper on the counter. What about that, the woman asked? It’s the last one in the store, she was told. So they asked if they could get that, instead. Yes. They talked for a bit about which of them would buy it, and the guy ended up saying he would, and the cashier run it up.
That one package of toilet paper cost more than $33 for 12 rolls!
They were flabberghasted, of course. The cashier explained that it was not the store that sets the price. This price was what the shipment came in as, as set by the head office.
He still bought it. On his Visa. The woman was able to also buy the 4 pack, which cost just under $8.
As they were leaving, the cashier and I both commented on the elevated price when she added under her breath that their demographic is why the prices are so high! 😦
On the one hand, I’m glad we were able to get our normal stock of supplies for the month, including toilet paper, early on. On the other, I’m starting to get concerned. We’ve got health related reasons for using slightly more toilet paper than average to begin with. We’ll be fine for the rest of the month, but what happens if this doesn’t blow over by the time we’re due for our next monthly shop? I’m hearing it’s much harder to get basics in the city right now, because of all the panic buying. Which is so frustrating. There’s no shortage in supply. Just that demand is out of whack.
My husband was suggesting it is time to get a bidet.
Watch, now those are going to start disappearing off the shelves! 😀
By the time we were done at the pharmacy, it was time to start heading to the garage to pick up the van. We passed the vet’s office along the way, so my daughter wanted to stop by.
The door was locked.
We stopped to read the printout on the door. They were open, but they had a “closed door” policy in place. While we were reading the sign, someone came to the door and asked if we were picking up an animal. My daughter explained she wanted to pick up some medication and make an appointment. We were asked if we could wait outside until they were done with a customer inside. Their “closed door” policy included serving only one customer at a time!
So my daughter waited while I continued on to the garage. The van was done and outside already.
The total to get the brakes done was over $500. Ouch.
On the plus side, I had asked him to check a couple of things for me (including potential pothole damage!), and he found no signs of anything wrong.
That is a relief!
While I was paying for it, a woman came in and started going on about how crazy things are out there. The grocery store parking lot looked fuller than before, but I said the rest of town was dead. It turns out she’d just been in the city, and that everyone was out driving, and it was insane. She figures it’s because today is when people’s child tax benefits came in. I later learned that, as part of the package from the government to help people deal with the effects of business closures and job losses, the child tax benefit was given a boost. It sounds like everyone decided to use the money to do more panic shopping. 😦
My daughter caught up with me just as I was getting into the van. She got the medication for the cats she wanted, plus booked an appointment to get Two-Face fixed. Not until April 17, unfortunately. Hopefully, Two-Face won’t get pregnant before then!
One the way home, we stopped to get the mail and some more deer feed. I was hoping our seed order had come in, but it has not. My husband did get a letter from the heart clinic, rescheduling his appointment with nuclear medicine. It’ll be done on the morning he’s got a regular heart clinic appointment on, so we’ll be going from one to the other, within the same hospital.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see if the appointment will stay, or if the clinic will end up cancelling it. I’m pretty sure these are considered “elective” appointments, but things might also be calming down by the end of the month.
What wild and crazy times we are living in, right now!