Supermarket Pac-Man… and Other Social Distancing Misadventures

I don’t think people in my town realise their neighbours are pretty much TWD zombies.

Okay sure, no one’s eating brains or chasing you around the block, but social distancing makes everyone outside of your immediate home circle persona non grata. This is especially true now some officials are saying 1.5 meters might not be enough distance person-to-person.

Tell me why then, is every public experience I have, marked with people acting “normal” instead of adhering to the “new normal”?

I’ll backtrack.

Monday marked the first day I went anywhere but the woods near my home for a few weeks. I experienced one of the emotional aspects related to social distancing then.

I usually love going to the store – don’t judge, just something about the food on shelves, walking aisles slowly picking and choosing . . . *shrugs* it relaxes me. This time was different though. Nervousness clung like a bad smell.

To be on the safer side, I went early to avoid crowds. Relief flooded as I noticed it was just me and employees for the most part. Mission accomplished! Until I couldn’t find the flour. I hunted everywhere, but nah, wasn’t happening, so I had to ask someone.

Let me set this up for you: I’m standing at one end of the aisle, the employee is at the other. I call to him – “Hey, where’s the flour?” Instead of just answering me from where he was, he started walking towards me . . . *insert terrified expression here.*

Immediately my hand goes up stop sign style. I tell him, “No, don’t come to me, just tell me where the flour is.” He stops in his tracks and I realise he probably isn’t even thinking about social distancing. He’s just accustomed to helping customers, taking them to whatever they’ve asked for, end. Made me wonder how many people were still in the same “old-school” (yes, like four months ago) mindset.

Cut to two days later.

I decided to bake more, so we don’t have to go to the store as often for things like bread, etc. This means I’ve been going through flour quicker. Ironically, it led me to another store trip.

This time I wasn’t nervous, confidence boosted from my in-and-out experience earlier this week. I went around the same time, knew exactly what I wanted to get, and charged in.

Immediately I noticed it was fuller than before. Didn’t let that phase me though. I started going through the aisles picking up what I needed. This is when the gamer in me had no choice but to come out.

Imagine Pac-Man on crack and that’s what “escaping” other shoppers felt like.

Maybe it wasn’t that bad, but they didn’t seem to give a crap about keeping away from each other or me. I’m avoiding wherever I can, but guess what? Covering every weak spot is rough. I had moments where I’d triumphantly dodged some shopper coming my way and another came from behind.

Most seemed to think this wasn’t a big deal, meanwhile I’m holding my breath, hoping for the best. Sure, maybe it sounds overly paranoid, but I don’t care.

I’m the same with:

  • Mouth-breathing on the workout trail – people insisting on being close as possible despite the wide berth I try to give them.
  • Coughing with uncovered mouths – elbow crook, elbow crook guy!
  • No gloves – and parcelling food? Seriously?

While I haven’t given in to fear of the virus as that doesn’t help anyone, I just figure it’s on all of us to do our bit when in public. We’re protecting ourselves and each other when we do that, right?

I won’t be going out much after this, so if my boyfriend wants more of Mindee’s Savory Onion Cheese Rolls when the next few batches run out, he can figure it out ;).


Have social distancing misadventures? Share in the comments :).

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