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My dd15 and I have been doing a lot of driving practice while the roads have had fewer people on them. The last 2 weeks we've gone to the town 10 miles north of is and the town 15 miles south of us. Oh my, the Menards, Lowes, and Target parking lots are packed. It looked like Black Friday last Saturday at the Target lot. 

I'll continue my online ordering and pick up. We haven't been wearing masks at work, but I might start. Not really trusting most Iowans right now. I just got masks made for the whole family.

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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We have almost full parking lots at some places but the stores are actually rather empty. Besides the staff parking their cars because our public transport (buses and trains) have reduced their frequencies, there are people waiting in line to get into the stores since they have to restrict the number of customers in store, there are also quite a few people just parking there with the trunk of their SUV open and having a picnic. 

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My last time in, I passed a Walmart and Target with busy lots and went on to a small vegetarian type independent local food store which was pretty quiet.  

This coming week, I’ll probably brave a supermarket for the first time since mid March, as I want a few items the little store doesn’t carry.  

 

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I think this is why our governor required stores to only sell "essential" items in person - everything else has to be purchased online. When I went to Walmart a few weeks ago, the food section was the only section not roped off to shoppers. This week, he's allowing the garden centers to be open too, but if you want anything else, you need to order online. Annoying when you want to buy makeup or free weights (I needed both), but I think it was to help curb the crowds. It seems to be helping - he's slowly started easing restrictions and will re-evaluate next week.

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Where I work we went to take out and drive thru only in mid-March. In a 4 hour shift I would have only one person come inside and the rest the drive thru. My son worked today and said they had a line out the door. I finished 5 masks today so now my whole family has one. 

Kelly

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3 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

 

My dd15 and I have been doing a lot of driving practice while the roads have had fewer people on them. The last 2 weeks we've gone to the town 10 miles north of is and the town 15 miles south of us. Oh my, the Menards, Lowes, and Target parking lots are packed. It looked like Black Friday last Saturday at the Target lot. 

I'll continue my online ordering and pick up. We haven't been wearing masks at work, but I might start. Not really trusting most Iowans right now. I just got masks made for the whole family.

Kelly

Iowa has not been handling the pandemic very well. I can’t believe my tiny hometown has almost as many cases as the nearby city across the river with two major medical centers and three colleges. I’m so glad my mom sold her house and moved before this hit. Her senior complex in WI is doing a great job and has no cases in the ten facilities they own.

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3 minutes ago, ThisIsTheDay said:

I'm truly shocked by the numbers of people here who say they haven't left their house in weeks and weeks. We go out several times a week, groceries usually. The longer this goes on, the more people will stop responding, stop reacting. From the beginning, my concern has been when something TRULY deadly and devastating comes, people will remember coronavirus, that it was a big over reaction and then not take steps to truly protect themselves and everyone else.

 


I'm on the other end. I can't fathom why you'd need to go out several times a week for groceries. We are a family of 6, and can easily make it a week on one grocery trip. Going longer sometimes involves not having fresh fruit or produce or milk, but this is a pandemic. If you aren't counting going to work in those several times, you are...not doing well at SIP. And that's the nicest thing I can say about that.

Thanks for your concern, but even though I am sure I will always remember COVID-19, I am also sure that I'll be willing to protect myself (and others) if something similar/worse comes along (Jesus, may that not happen!). 

As for the OP, our Wal-mart seems about as busy as normal, the local grocery slightly less busy. A small-ish hardware/gardening store appeared super busy when I drove past recently. That's the only place I saw that I would describe as "packed."

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We have 3 Publix Supermarkets near our house and they are all on the daily bike ride path for my kids.  They keep telling me they are truly busy every afternoon and when I went out at 2 last Thursday day I was shocked at how full the lots were at all three.  Normally all three are pretty slow mid afternoon ......I really thought my kids were wrong!  I haven’t been inside a store in over a month......

 

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25 minutes ago, barnwife said:


I'm on the other end. I can't fathom why you'd need to go out several times a week for groceries. We are a family of 6, and can easily make it a week on one grocery trip. Going longer sometimes involves not having fresh fruit or produce or milk, but this is a pandemic. If you aren't counting going to work in those several times, you are...not doing well at SIP. And that's the nicest thing I can say about that.

Thanks for your concern, but even though I am sure I will always remember COVID-19, I am also sure that I'll be willing to protect myself (and others) if something similar/worse comes along (Jesus, may that not happen!). 

As for the OP, our Wal-mart seems about as busy as normal, the local grocery slightly less busy. A small-ish hardware/gardening store appeared super busy when I drove past recently. That's the only place I saw that I would describe as "packed."

I haven’t been in a store since March 5th or so. I have all of our groceries delivered. I have been pretty happy with what they have been able to deliver, although there are definitely substitutions at times. I just roll with it because it’s a pandemic!  Like you, I can’t fathom why anyone would need to go out multiple times a week. 
 

If anything, this pandemic will make me more prepared in case there is another one! I definitely don’t think this was an overreaction.
 

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On 4/26/2020 at 8:22 PM, AmandaVT said:

I think this is why our governor required stores to only sell "essential" items in person - everything else has to be purchased online. When I went to Walmart a few weeks ago, the food section was the only section not roped off to shoppers. This week, he's allowing the garden centers to be open too, but if you want anything else, you need to order online. Annoying when you want to buy makeup or free weights (I needed both), but I think it was to help curb the crowds. It seems to be helping - he's slowly started easing restrictions and will re-evaluate next week.

I haven't heard of states doing that.  So if you wanted shampoo or lightbulbs or aspirin, you'd have to order it online?  I'd think that might be tricky for some people, especially the elderly, or those who can't afford Amazon Prime or shipping fees.  Or maybe smaller stores can still provide those things?

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Even in our lower-level lockdown that we entered yesterday, we are still not allowed to shop in person at any store except a grocery store.  And then only 100 people are allowed in at a time, so the parking lot is never full because you would see the line of people down the street and decide to go home and try again another time! 

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3 hours ago, J-rap said:

I haven't seen crowded stores here.  Interestingly, sometimes the parking lots look quite full, but inside, customers are quite sparse.  I'm not sure why the parking lots make it look busier.  

 

Typically, the whole family might go to the store together.....so one car might hold 4-6 people.  Now, many people are shopping alone ....so one person per car.

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31 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

Typically, the whole family might go to the store together.....so one car might hold 4-6 people.  Now, many people are shopping alone ....so one person per car.

Of course, that makes sense!

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7 hours ago, J-rap said:

I haven't heard of states doing that.  So if you wanted shampoo or lightbulbs or aspirin, you'd have to order it online?  I'd think that might be tricky for some people, especially the elderly, or those who can't afford Amazon Prime or shipping fees.  Or maybe smaller stores can still provide those things?

 

Smaller stores could sell them still. Which, felt pretty silly, but it did seem to help traffic control. I think pharmacy stuff was purchasable everywhere, but, yeah I couldn't get shampoo at walmart, but I could at CVS. Now more stores can do curbside. We don't have a lot of delivery options in VT, which makes things tricky. 

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3 hours ago, Ottakee said:

Typically, the whole family might go to the store together.....so one car might hold 4-6 people.  Now, many people are shopping alone ....so one person per car.

 

3 hours ago, J-rap said:

Of course, that makes sense!

My former neighbors would carpool before shelter in place in one minivan for groceries. Three moms in one minivan is doable for one week’s worth of produce. Now all three have to drive their own minivans. 

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7 hours ago, J-rap said:

I haven't heard of states doing that.  So if you wanted shampoo or lightbulbs or aspirin, you'd have to order it online?  I'd think that might be tricky for some people, especially the elderly, or those who can't afford Amazon Prime or shipping fees.  Or maybe smaller stores can still provide those things?

Not here. CVS pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and many other pharmacies have shampoo, lightbulbs and of course aspirin. Grocery Outlet have those too. 

Our kitchen light bulb is the square end not so common kind so we had to go Lowe’s, else we could buy our other lightbulbs at Target or Walmart easily. Supermarkets have the typical lightbulbs.

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I hit the grocery store once a week, but I don't have a problem making a quick trip if we run out of milk or something.  And in doing these things, my experience has been that the lots are packed (and specifically, often look MORE packed, because of the additional employees.  In many cases, those are going to be employees that you don't see in the store itself, such as those running the pick up services, or those cleaning up the back stock room.  

Also, when people use delivery, SOMEONE still has to go into the store to get it.  Using delivery doesn't decrease how many people are shopping, it just changes who it is.  

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23 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

 

Smaller stores could sell them still. Which, felt pretty silly, but it did seem to help traffic control. I think pharmacy stuff was purchasable everywhere, but, yeah I couldn't get shampoo at walmart, but I could at CVS. Now more stores can do curbside. We don't have a lot of delivery options in VT, which makes things tricky. 


Many people come from VT over the river into NH to do their shopping, where we haven't had restrictions on which store departments are open.

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I hadn't been in to a store since the SIP - dh has been doing the weekly grocery shopping during senior hours during which he also picks up things for my parents and sometimes our kids in apartments.  But dd19 ordered some stuff for Walmart pick-up the other day, and I went to get it.  Parking lot was about as full as the last time I was there (also for pickup) just before SIP which was pretty darn full.  Now they have a spaced line to get in and are counting, and at least most people had masks.  The line did move quickly.  But I still saw a ton of people coming/going in groups.  What the heck, people!  And most were going in to shop - fortunately for me, there was almost no one at pickup, so I was in and out in just a couple of minutes, and only had to touch the bag I was handed.  At least they seem to have ditched signing my name on a *shiver* touch screen.  I stepped over the tape that separated in/out to get out, as the pickup was right at the entrance on the 'in' side, and to get out the door that was right there, I would have had to walk all the way in to the store and through a register otherwise.  

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37 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Wait, wouldn’t it be the same delivery people over and over again, instead of having lots of different people? That seems better to me.

Right, so instead of 5 different people, it's one person 5 times.  It may be better (depending on how much contact each delivery person has with each customer.) but in terms on packed lots, 5 different people in the store for 2 hours each, it's 1 person in the store for a total of 10 hours.  It might slow spread, but it doesn't really change overall customer presence in the store.  

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3 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

I have zero contact with my delivery people. That's not hard to arrange. We don't share air. 

If I'm sick and I don't go to the store, my germs stay home. If I'm sick and I do go to the store, my germs spread. I don't see any way around that. The fewer people in the stores, the better. 

Sure you might.  That doesn't mean everyone is doing the same thing.  And like I said, in terms of slowing the spread, it may very well be helping.  In terms of packed parking lots and customer engagement at the store, it's not really making a difference.  

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3 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. Why wouldn't it be better that as many people as possible get things delivered? I understand that this isn't possible in some places, so I don't blame anyone for not doing so if they can't. But it also seems like you're arguing that what I'm doing isn't useful, and I really don't see that. 

ETA: our building has instituted a "only residents in the elevators" rule, so I'm certainly not the only one just asking people to leave food downstairs. 

The thread is about how many people in the store based on how packed the parking lots are.  It doesn't matter if the vehicles in the parking spaces belong to delivery people or their customers, they are still vehicles in the lot.  

I am not really talking about the usefulness of delivery in virus spread.  I am explaining why using delivery isn't going to make stores appear less busy.  

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3 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Oooh, I see. I didn't understand what you were saying -- my bad. 

However, I still don't think that's right, because they definitely do more than one customer at a time -- I've seen people walk around before the crisis, and they are doing like 6 orders at once. So that would lead to a substantial decrease in cars. 

Shopping for more than one customer at a time just means it takes longer.  Maybe less overall, but not substantially less I wouldn't think.  So instead of taking say 1 hour to shop for Bob, 1 hour to shop for Ted, and 1 hr to shop for Phil, maybe it takes 2 to 2.5 hours to shop for Bob, Ted and Phil all at the same time.  

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22 minutes ago, square_25 said:

I would guess it's a lot more efficient, because however many things you have to get, you still only have to go down each aisle once. There's kind of a lower bound on one person's shopping, so it's not going to be linear, I think. Plus I'm sure they've memorized where everything is in the store in a way I haven't ;-). The usual benefits of specializing... 

On the other hand, DH just pointed that because stores are limiting who can go inside, it might just take people longer to make their way through the whole experience... so that might be a reason for packed parking lots. 

Although I don't disagree with the idea that shopping for more than one person at once can decrease the total store population, I just disagree with the level.  

In terms of memorizing a grocery store....I thought most people who typically do the grocery shopping generally did have most of their usual stores memorized.  I mean, any time Meijer rearranges someone, it's weeks before random shoppers stop telling me how they don't know where anything is anymore lol.  

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I know here people were complaining about the packed lots at a Entertainment Center.  Come to find out -- they were allowing a rental agency use their lots to park a lot of unused rental cars.

 

I wonder if other parking lots are being used similarly.

 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

Wait, wouldn’t it be the same delivery people over and over again, instead of having lots of different people? That seems better to me.

It depends. For example, Instacart has those that are stationed in certain stores and those that are freelance. 

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1 minute ago, vonfirmath said:

I know here people were complaining about the packed lots at a Entertainment Center.  Come to find out -- they were allowing a rental agency use their lots to park a lot of unused rental cars.

 

I wonder if other parking lots are being used similarly.

 

The Walmart lot here has been full when I drive by, even when the grocery stores I'm actually going to are empty.  I suspect the employees from restaurants nearby are parking over there so they can leave their smaller lots open for delivery drivers and well-spaced curbside pickup.  And since I can only see the rear side of the lot, not the front where people shopping in Walmart would be parking, it looks a lot more crowded than it really is.  I bet people picking up to-go food orders are also parking over there and waiting in their cars until their pickup time.

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On 4/26/2020 at 5:16 PM, SquirrellyMama said:

 

My dd15 and I have been doing a lot of driving practice while the roads have had fewer people on them. The last 2 weeks we've gone to the town 10 miles north of is and the town 15 miles south of us. Oh my, the Menards, Lowes, and Target parking lots are packed. It looked like Black Friday last Saturday at the Target lot. 

I'll continue my online ordering and pick up. We haven't been wearing masks at work, but I might start. Not really trusting most Iowans right now. I just got masks made for the whole family.

Kelly

 

I am on west coast—parking lots were packed in March when people were stocking up.  

I only go in twice per month with a whole 14 day equivalent quarantine between—if I get sick, contact tracing on me should be relatively feasible. Last time I was in city, in April, parking lots were not full and people were parking with 2 spots between cars, similar to keeping 2 cart lengths between shoppers. 

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Lowe's Home Improvement and Home Depot are packed. I avoid them, although I did do an order for Home Depot online and picked it up from their pick up lockers on a weekday. Target isn't as busy on weekdays as it usually is, at least not from the looks of the parking lot. I have ordered online from them and done drive up pickup, so I haven't been in the store except for early one morning last week to pick up a prescription. I haven't been by the WalMart. I did a big shopping trip right before our restrictions went in place and since then, we go roughly every 6 days to supplement that with fresh produce or to replace what we have used up. We could stretch that out if we needed to.

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I live in a city with very crowded roads even mid day. At the beginning of the stay at home, the roads were deserted. The only time we have deserted roads is Christmas morning. But yesterday, coming home from the vet at rush hour, it truly was rush hour. The stores are crowded, the roads are crowded, even the vet was crowded. People are definitely out and about. Sometimes I wonder if it's worse that everyone is home because, instead of being locked up in a building all day working, they are out running from store to store.

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For me, shopping takes a lot longer now than it typically would.

The store now has arrows and directions of which way to go down each aisle.   That means I am either waiting behind someone to keep distance while they slowly move down the aisle or I am having to walk through a lot more aisles just to go the proper direction to get what I need.

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