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The new normal in grocery shopping

Since we returned from GHC Texas, California has had a shelter in place order. We are encouraged to only leave the house for essential items. So, we have been trying to limit our trips to the grocery store to at least once a week. We have been asked to try to go once every two weeks, but even if I fill the cart up completely, with 3 adults and one growing child at home 24/7, the food always seems to be gone after a week.

This was my first trip to my favorite store, Trader Joes, since the pandemic hit. I had been warned that they were only limiting a few customers in at a time and that I should expect to wait. I decided it was worth it to stock up on my family's favorite Trader Joes items including my favorite quick-fix healthy meals. I arrived to a very long line. It is amazing how long a line can stretch when everyone is 6 feet apart. There was tape on the sidewalk to show us where to stand.

This was also my first trip to the store since the latest publication out of China that confirmed what many had thought. That there are a significant fraction of COVID-19 positive people that can infect others but are showing no symptoms. I certainly felt fine myself besides being tired from changing gears from what I thought would be a busy season of in-person GHC conferences to purely digital. Not to mention that I was now homeschooling my own 10 year old daughter! I was more than happy to wear a mask just in case I had the disease and certainly to give those around me, especially the store workers peace of mind.

It was strangely relaxing waiting in that line. Just the right temperature, getting fresh air through my mask and no one seemed impatient. We were all just waiting together: 6 feet apart. Once in the store, it was very pleasant. An empty Trader Joes is a rare find by any other standards. Everyone politely giving each other space. The employees all still happy. and like us, making the best of a difficult situation. I'm very thankful for the people who are still working at these stores and for all of their hard work to keep us safe!

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