“Something Like Out of a Movie”: The State of Grocery Stores during COVID-19

The current issue that is on everyone’s mind is COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. In just a timespan of roughly seven months, the virus has become a global pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of cases and a cure still being searched for. As more cases continue to plague the United States rapidly, certain states are being affected drastically.

The state of Georgia has been under severe threat as numerous cases continue to pop up. As a result, most counties in Georgia have been advised to begin social distancing. While people may have their own personal feelings about the orders aside, what has become clear over time is that the way people shop in stores has now been drastically changed.

As COVID-19 began to circulate in Georgia, it started slowly with only a few cases reported. Still fear ran rapidly, and the first concern for stores were running out of essential supplies. Items such as toilet paper, paper towels and air freshener were gone in flashes, leaving many shelves in a lot of stores empty. It seemed that the only reason anybody in Georgia was on the streets was to go to the stores. And all the people that came in after early hours were completely out of luck.

“Going into Walmart after the quarantine was put into place, it was just completely different. I was shocked,” says Darius Troy, an airline worker who frequents his local Walmart. “It was almost completely empty.” Troy continued.

In addition to toiletries being constantly out of stock, food began to become hard to find. Meats were at the top of the list to begin selling out. Popular meat like steaks, bacon and most notably chicken were being fought over and taken home by few people, leaving many either waiting or having to go without poultry for a while.

Those were mostly the only major strains a trip to the grocery store had to offer for a few months. Until recently, with the new stay at home orders placed on many counties, many grocery stores are now changing up their operations. Lately, what many stores are asking are for a lot of customers to come in only if they are wearing masks.

Now anytime one enters a Walmart, or a BJ’s or any other grocery store, the majority of everyone inside is wearing masks as well as gloves. There are also strict instructions for employees too. Many employees of the stores could be seen wearing gloves and masks as well.

In addition to asking customers to wear masks, Walmart is recommending that all of its customers stay at least six feet away, even marking the floor with directions marking the exact distance. Stores like BJ’s on the other hand, are offering cleaning services inside of the stores and changing carts in the parking lots outside of the stores.

With all of these drastic changes being made, it just seems that we are very far away from being able to have a normal shopping experience once more. “It just seems like it’s something out of a movie, what we’re going through,” says Troy. “I have hope that it will get better, but it seems that we have a long way to go.” Troy adds.

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