Pexels photo: Anna Shvets
Although many people are currently settling into the life of working at home, there are many others that are still having to leave their homes and go to work every day, like doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. However, there are also many other people who are not in the medical field who have to go to work every day too, like grocery store employees.
Smaller stores like Family Dollar are struggling to keep up an inventory of their products since they are smaller than places like Walmart and do not have as much room for storage. Damien Robbs, assistant manager of the Family Dollar in Farwell, Texas, said that they have been “a lot busier” since the panic began in the United States over COVID-19. He also said that in the beginning, when everyone first started panicking, they were consistently busy the majority of the day and every day of the week. However, he said since then, the store has slowed back down a little bit, but they still get really busy during their “truck time.” Their “truck time” is the day after the delivery truck comes and they have restocked the shelves. Robbs said the day after the truck comes, the “whole parking lot is full” before the store opens, and there is also a line waiting outside the door. This is first time that there has ever been a line of people waiting to come in, because Farwell is a fairly small town. According to Robbs, the most popular items at the store right now are toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and all other cleaning supplies. He also mentioned that they “haven’t gotten [hand sanitizer] in a while,” so that is not available.
When it comes to keeping the store clean, Robbs said that they have been doing a lot of extra cleaning since the crisis started, and they are now cleaning “at least four times a day” with a bleach solution. They primarily focus on the “high touch” areas of the store like counter tops, door handles and cooler handles. They have also been sweeping the floor a lot more and mopping it with bleach on a regular basis. Robbs mentioned that because the grocery stores are considered essential businesses, they will remain open unless there is confirmed COVID-19 case of someone who works at the store; the store would only close so they could have time to clean the entire store completely. As for how much Robbs and his co-works are worried about contracting COVID-19, he said that everyone is “somewhat worried, at the very least.”
To help store employees, people in the medical field and all of the other people in the world that are trying to get through this tough time, the Center for Disease Control has several recommendations, including washing your hands often, staying at home as much as possible and self-isolating if you are feeling sick or showing signs of COVID-19.