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-   -   Help me understand part-time groery store closures (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892263)

ambushed 03-21-2020 05:15 PM

Help me understand part-time groery store closures
 
Is there any formal or official explanation for why businesses such as grocery stores and bank lobbies are reducing their hours? Granted, having a grocery store stay open only half the usual time is -- purely hypothetically -- going to reduce the probability of passing the infection, but I just can't see how that justifies just part-time closures. I mean, if you want to significantly reduce infections, close entirely! Infected people are obviously just going to shop during the open hours, so no one's safety is enhanced.

Unless you figure only healthy people eat.

Not only that, but the 24-hour stores all around me that are now 8 hour operations or less have now thrown a huge proportion of their employees out of work unnecessarily, probably damaging them far more than the small chance of infection.

I gotta believe there's something wrong with my thinking since this is happening more and more. So does anyone know a truly valid and rational explanation?

Thanks

Gatopescado 03-21-2020 05:19 PM

They close to clean, disinfect and restock. That's my guess.

Mangetout 03-21-2020 05:20 PM

Supermarkets near me are closing in the evening (as opposed to staying open 24 hours) so that:
  1. They can restock shelves
  2. They can deep clean high touch surfaces (basket/trolley handles, touch screen self serve checkouts, etc)
Point 2 is also related to the fact that they're making the first hour of shopping for elderly people

nearwildheaven 03-21-2020 05:41 PM

The big-box groceries in my area are HIRING temporary part-time help, mainly for cleaning and stocking.

Some of this is because 1) many parents are making their teenage children leave their jobs; 2) lots of daytime employees are SAHPs who only work while their kids are in school, and now they're not in school; and 3) many older employees need to be at home because of their own health issues, and/or they're needed to look after grandchildren.

Shoeless 03-21-2020 05:42 PM

Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

ambushed 03-21-2020 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 22202612)
They close to clean, disinfect and restock. That's my guess.

That seems like that would be a good guess if they had reduced hours from, say, 24 hours to 20, but 7 or 8 out of 24?

I'm a night owl and almost always shop around 2 am. When I went to the nearby 24-hour Walmart superstore and found that they had closed at 8:30 pm, I decided to look inside to see what I could see.

There was not a single person visible. And since I usually shop around 2 am -- during the regular restocking hours -- so I know how it would look if that's what was happening. It most emphatically did not look like anything at all was happening inside. Furthermore, there were only three cars in the parking lot. And while I admit I didn't check to see if there was parking in back, during all my other early morning shopping trips, there were cars a plenty.

ETA: There's another 24-hour grocery store near me, and it looked the same as Walmart, although I'm pretty there's employee parking in back that I didn't check.

But again, I'm not defending any particular explanation. Perhaps I missed something important.

Dr. Drake 03-21-2020 06:05 PM

Businesses are doing a lot of things that do not actually help, but give the appearance of helping, in order to reassure both employees and customers. Our local grocery store is no longer allowing re-usable bags, insisting that you use their plastic bags. Which is (a) not helpful, and (b) actually harmful on environmental grounds. (I mean, on the off chance that your canvas bag has the virus clinging to it, wouldn't your clothes have the same?)

Same with drinks places no longer allowing refills.

This kind of annoys me, but then, keeping panic down is pretty important, especially with regard to the food supply chain, so I'll live.

PastTense 03-21-2020 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202606)
Not only that, but the 24-hour stores all around me that are now 8 hour operations or less have now thrown a huge proportion of their employees out of work unnecessarily, probably damaging them far more than the small chance of infection.

Do you have any evidence of this? I think instead that these people are either stocking or being extra cashiers during the hours they are open.

D'Anconia 03-21-2020 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

Yeah, I saw that in a store in Los Angeles last week. I don't get it either.

ambushed 03-21-2020 06:14 PM

Dr. Drake, I think you're onto this. Human beings are absurdly emotional beings, and no one knows that like Walmart and the other chains, large and small. And nothing pushes that into hyper-drive like panic -- especially health panics. So appealing to our emotions for calm and comfort becomes the rational, intelligent choice. Well, within reason, of course. A certain cretinous monster downplaying the situation irrationally and increasing deaths as a result wouldn't fit that bill...

RioRico 03-21-2020 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

I read that some CostCo stores, with only one portal, count customers and allow only a certain number inside at any time. Your store may also be limiting the crowd.

mjmlabs 03-21-2020 06:32 PM

There's much more receiving and restocking to be done each day than usual, what with the panic-buying. It's a lot easier to restock when there are no customers in the store (and yes, restocking also happens during the reduced shopping hours, but it's less efficient). And of course, deep-cleaning/sanitizing takes a long time, and you don't want customers in there touching and moving things while that's happening.

I just saw online that a few major grocery chains here in New England are giving their employees $2/hr raises for the duration. Good. They deserve it.

Wesley Clark 03-21-2020 06:47 PM

My mom told me in a nearby town the walmart has become curbside pickup only.

RickJay 03-21-2020 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202606)
Is there any formal or official explanation for why businesses such as grocery stores and bank lobbies are reducing their hours? Granted, having a grocery store stay open only half the usual time is -- purely hypothetically -- going to reduce the probability of passing the infection,

In fact, it does the opposite. It makes it likelier customers and employees will pass infections to one another. By reducing hours, the average number of customers in the store at any given point in time goes up, since people have fewer hours in which to buy their groceries.

PoppaSan 03-21-2020 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

Increase security by monitoring one entrance? The local formerly 24 hour stores almost all closed one entrance during the overnight hours. The security monitor for one door is now able to keep the TP hoarders civil.

DSeid 03-21-2020 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RioRico (Post 22202727)
I read that some CostCo stores, with only one portal, count customers and allow only a certain number inside at any time. Your store may also be limiting the crowd.

Yeah my local Whole Foods was only allowing so many in at a time. The result, somewhat predictably, was a tightly packed queue of about two hundred lined up in the cold outside right on top of each other, not moving fro 45 minutes ...

Beware the unintended consequences.

Melbourne 03-21-2020 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202682)
.
I'm a night owl and almost always shop around 2 am. When I went to the nearby 24-hour Walmart superstore and found that they had closed at 8:30 pm, I decided to look inside to see what I could see.

There was not a single person visible. And since I usually shop around 2 am -- during the regular restocking hours -- so I know how it would look if that's what was happening. It most emphatically did not look like anything at all was happening inside.

If they are selling enough stock in 8 hours to fully saturate their supply chain, they may have realized that they just don't need to bother opening 24/7. "Cut costs to our consumers by running reduced hours".

Eva Luna 03-21-2020 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 22202776)
Yeah my local Whole Foods was only allowing so many in at a time. The result, somewhat predictably, was a tightly packed queue of about two hundred lined up in the cold outside right on top of each other, not moving fro 45 minutes ...

Beware the unintended consequences.

Costco was only allowing in 500 people at a time, and telling people outside to stay at least 6 feet apart. Everyone was very well-behaved, and I think the result was actually less busy on the inside than an average weekend, allowing them to serve more people total because there was no gridlock.

Voyager 03-21-2020 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22202761)
In fact, it does the opposite. It makes it likelier customers and employees will pass infections to one another. By reducing hours, the average number of customers in the store at any given point in time goes up, since people have fewer hours in which to buy their groceries.

I suspect that so few people shop during the hours that they are now closed that it doesn't raise the number of shoppers during the other hours by that much.
My store now has more checkout lanes open than I've ever seen, which is good since it allows distancing in the line. That takes more people and thus fewer stockers. I think they are hiring.

Banquet Bear 03-21-2020 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202682)
I'm a night owl and almost always shop around 2 am. When I went to the nearby 24-hour Walmart superstore and found that they had closed at 8:30 pm, I decided to look inside to see what I could see.

There was not a single person visible.

...the only think this tells you is that at the time you decided to look inside you didn't see anyone. If the shops are running out of stuff well before 8.30 pm it doesn't make any sense to keep the shops open any later. And if your suppliers can't get the trucks to the store until 1000 PM at night then it doesn't make any sense to have staff on hand to fill shelves if the stock just in case somebody pokes their nose in through the windows.

Supermarkets and superstores are complex machines in normal times. These are simply not normal times. The logistics of keeping each store running will be unique to each chain, even unique to each store. Maybe (due to restocking) they don't have enough staff to run multiple shifts: so instead of multiple shifts with overlap they only open their doors for 9-10 hours instead. It could be something as simple as that, or maybe not.

Saturn Dreams 03-21-2020 08:26 PM

There is no “official” explanation on reduced store hours. Stores will open and close as they see fit.

I can understand a 24-hour store drastically reducing hours to eight or 10 hours of operation. People shouldn’t be out and about so much which includes customers and workers.

What I can’t understand is a store or shopping center reducing their open hours by just one or two hours. A place that was open from 10am to 10 pm now closes at 9pm. Another place that was open from 10am to 8pm is now operating from 11am to 7pm. I’m thinking to myself what good does that do? You’re not really helping much with reducing people traffic and just causing inconvenience for shoppers. Go big or go home.

Dr. Drake 03-21-2020 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams (Post 22202908)
What I can’t understand is a store or shopping center reducing their open hours by just one or two hours.

It's symbolic: we are changing in response to the times.

It's also convenient: labour costs and utilities are two biggies for industry, and I'm betting it saves money.

RivkahChaya 03-21-2020 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

Quote:

Originally Posted by D'Anconia (Post 22202694)
Yeah, I saw that in a store in Los Angeles last week. I don't get it either.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PoppaSan (Post 22202770)
Increase security by monitoring one entrance? The local formerly 24 hour stores almost all closed one entrance during the overnight hours. The security monitor for one door is now able to keep the TP hoarders civil.

I think security is the answer. There's probably more stealing going on now, and with stuff in such demand, theft "hurts" more, because it pretty certain that someone else woud buy what you stole. You aren't just stealing from the store, you are stealing from the guy parked next to you.

I had a friend who worked security as a Walmart. She said most shop-lifting attempts occurred at night, which is why one entrance at night.

RivkahChaya 03-21-2020 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

Quote:

Originally Posted by D'Anconia (Post 22202694)
Yeah, I saw that in a store in Los Angeles last week. I don't get it either.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PoppaSan (Post 22202770)
Increase security by monitoring one entrance? The local formerly 24 hour stores almost all closed one entrance during the overnight hours. The security monitor for one door is now able to keep the TP hoarders civil.

I think security is the answer. There's probably more stealing going on now, and with stuff in such demand, theft "hurts" more, because it pretty certain that someone else woud buy what you stole. You aren't just stealing from the store, you are stealing from the guy parked next to you.

I had a friend who worked security as a Walmart. She said most shop-lifting attempts occurred at night, which is why one entrance at night.

Biotop 03-21-2020 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Drake (Post 22202934)
It's symbolic: we are changing in response to the times.

It's also convenient: labour costs and utilities are two biggies for industry, and I'm betting it saves money.

As someone who has been working many hours of overtime the past few weeks at the grocery store, that extra hour closed is one more hour I can be at home and rest. We have employees out because they are sick, employees not working because of their concern about the virus, and employees missing time because of family issues associated with the whole crisis. Everyone is stressed, customers and staff alike. Stress does not always bring out the best in everyone.

Meanwhile sales growth is huge. Out-of-stocks are the rule. Truck delivery schedules are fluid. Lines are long.

Those of us working in the grocery store are more than aware of the risks we are taking and will have to continue to take so that you and others can buy food. A little more closed time is a bit more time for everyone to try and get a handle on this.

Dr. Drake 03-21-2020 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biotop (Post 22202984)
As someone who has been working many hours of overtime the past few weeks at the grocery store, that extra hour closed is one more hour I can be at home and rest. We have employees out because they are sick, employees not working because of their concern about the virus, and employees missing time because of family issues associated with the whole crisis. Everyone is stressed, customers and staff alike. Stress does not always bring out the best in everyone.

Meanwhile sales growth is huge. Out-of-stocks are the rule. Truck delivery schedules are fluid. Lines are long.

Those of us working in the grocery store are more than aware of the risks we are taking and will have to continue to take so that you and others can buy food. A little more closed time is a bit more time for everyone to try and get a handle on this.

It sounds like you took my post a bit personally, so I apologize. I did not mean any disrespect for the people who are working hard to keep the stores open and functioning: I'm really quite grateful for it. It's just that every grocery store I have visited has been understaffed for years, at the expense of the workers on the floor, and you'll pardon me if I'm a little suspicious of some of the decisions that get made.

nearwildheaven 03-21-2020 09:31 PM

Hy-Vee, a Midwestern grocery chain, is installing plastic guards between the cashiers and the customers, so they don't breathe directly on each other.

Dallas Jones 03-21-2020 09:34 PM

Some stores are opening later to the general public and reserving the morning opening hours for senior citizens who are most venerable. This gives them the chance to shop after the store has been cleaned and before the rest of the public arrives.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronav...rable-shoppers

Biotop 03-21-2020 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Drake (Post 22202997)
It sounds like you took my post a bit personally, so I apologize. I did not mean any disrespect for the people who are working hard to keep the stores open and functioning: I'm really quite grateful for it. It's just that every grocery store I have visited has been understaffed for years, at the expense of the workers on the floor, and you'll pardon me if I'm a little suspicious of some of the decisions that get made.

No apology necessary. This is a trying time for everyone.

One hopes that overall human well being is the main concern of most people in their daily lives. Sometimes it takes a crisis to get us to refocus on what truly matters.

Smapti 03-21-2020 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

Crowd control. The store I work at is currently only letting 100 customers in at a time, and having one door shut off makes it easier for our security to monitor the line to get in.

Shoeless 03-22-2020 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 22202938)
I think security is the answer. There's probably more stealing going on now, and with stuff in such demand, theft "hurts" more, because it pretty certain that someone else woud buy what you stole. You aren't just stealing from the store, you are stealing from the guy parked next to you.

I had a friend who worked security as a Walmart. She said most shop-lifting attempts occurred at night, which is why one entrance at night.

This is likely the answer. They do normally keep one entrance closed after 9 or 10 pm anyway, so it's probably just an extension of that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smapti (Post 22203169)
Crowd control. The store I working at is currently only letting 100 customers in at a time, and having one door shut off makes it easier for our security to monitor the line to get in.

I didn't see any store employees counting people coming in and out, and the store was just as crowded as any normal Saturday, so at least in my case I don't think this was it.

One thing I did notice was that they had a couple more registers open than they usually do, which I'm guessing is an effort to promote "social distancing" in the checkout lines.

Northern Piper 03-22-2020 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dallas Jones (Post 22203019)
Some stores are opening later to the general public and reserving the morning opening hours for senior citizens who are most venerable. This gives them the chance to shop after the store has been cleaned and before the rest of the public arrives.

I wonder if Bede will show up to do his shopping.

Northern Piper 03-22-2020 09:20 AM

I think the simplest explanation is that these are not ordinary times and there will be disruptions.

The employees in grocery stores are affected just as much as everyone else. They have kids who aren’t at school. They may have spouses who have lost jobs, elderly parents who need help, like food and vital supplies brought to them rather than leaving home.

On top of that, the supply system is disrupted. They have to learn and apply new cleaning and disinfecting techniques.

There’s also the fatigue factor for those working under new and stressful conditions, where no matter how much social distancing is tried, they are dealing with large numbers of the public, more than most other people.

Frankly, I’m amazed that such a vital essential service is still functioning. Shorter hours is a reasonable way to deal with a tired workforce.

I’m very grateful to the food stores and all their employees for doing so well in a time of crisis.

They are probably the single most essential service.

You want panic and riots, just see what happens if it’s not just toilet paper that runs out, but food.

A modern retail food store is the end point of an extremely complex and reliable supply chain. It is inevitable that there will be disruptions in their operations. Putting it down to “doing something just to look like they’re doing something” or “somehow it’s to grind the workers and make more money” seems unfair.

wolfpup 03-22-2020 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dallas Jones (Post 22203019)
... reserving the morning opening hours for senior citizens who are most venerable.

We certainly are, and thank you for the compliment. Some of us are practically saints! ;)

Dallas Jones 03-22-2020 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 22203709)
We certainly are, and thank you for the compliment. Some of us are practically saints! ;)

Damn spell check!

Chronos 03-22-2020 10:45 AM

"Venerable" can also be used as a synonym for "very old". So even with the typo, it still works.

Northern Piper 03-22-2020 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 22203709)
We certainly are, and thank you for the compliment. Some of us are practically saints! ;)

You have to be “Blesssed” first! One must follow procedures, after all, lest the Devil’s Advocate come after you!

Dale Sams 03-22-2020 06:46 PM

Let me know when yall are serious. In my parts airliners, liquor stores, car dealerships (??) are still open. Doormen are considered essential??

RioRico 03-22-2020 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dale Sams (Post 22204492)
Let me know when yall are serious. In my parts airliners, liquor stores, car dealerships (??) are still open. Doormen are considered essential??

No doorpeople in my rural county anyway but liquor sure is necessary; and behind those car dealerships are service facilities which ARE essential under most declarations.

actualliberalnotoneofthose 03-22-2020 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202606)
Not only that, but the 24-hour stores all around me that are now 8 hour operations or less have now thrown a huge proportion of their employees out of work unnecessarily, probably damaging them far more than the small chance of infection.

I am not sure to what extent those grocery employees are losing jobs or hours. Also, there are shoppers like me (though I don't want anyone to cry for me) who can only really shop at 24 hour places because we have night jobs that don't shut down. In my area that meant Walmart and Meijer were the only options on most nights when I get off around 4-5am and must go to sleep soon in order to function for the next day. So, the other day I go to Walmart. Shoot, they now don't open til 6. That's OK, I heard Kroger is closing early now but they open at 6, too and they are on the other end of town so I won't have to loiter for an hour. nope, 7. OK, Meijer is still 24/7. They don't have much, but I can get a few things so I can eat for a couple days. Couple days later: Same thing, but now everything is open an hour later, except Meijer which had the most hours now has the least (opening at 8). So I need to figure out how to stay up a few hours longer. At least the McD's drive through is open so I can get some coffee and hang out in parking lots until stores open.

Broomstick 03-23-2020 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202606)
I gotta believe there's something wrong with my thinking since this is happening more and more. So does anyone know a truly valid and rational explanation?

Hi.

I work at a grocery store. Actually, it's a big box store but we make most of our money on groceries (no, it's not Wal-Mart)

We normally run 24/7.

We now have reduced hours.

The following is not an official communication from my employer, just what I see from my perspective.

Normally, overnight, while we continue to serve customers there aren't many so most of what the night crew does is re-stock and clean. That is in normal times. But for two weeks the night hours, even the 2 am and 3 am time slots, are seeing as many customers as a typical daytime afternoon. That means the people there to stock/clean were instead at cash registers checking out customers leaving them no time to stock or clean.

Also, we're starting to see our own people get sick, leaving us less staff. Normally, we get 2-5 call offs a day for the whole store. The most recent list I saw had at least 15 names on it. Draw your own conclusions.

By closing to customers overnight the night shift can get their stocking and cleaning done, and we can use our remaining healthy staff to serve customers adequately during our reduced hours of operation.

Broomstick 03-23-2020 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambushed (Post 22202682)
I'm a night owl and almost always shop around 2 am. When I went to the nearby 24-hour Walmart superstore and found that they had closed at 8:30 pm, I decided to look inside to see what I could see.

There was not a single person visible. And since I usually shop around 2 am -- during the regular restocking hours -- so I know how it would look if that's what was happening. It most emphatically did not look like anything at all was happening inside. Furthermore, there were only three cars in the parking lot. And while I admit I didn't check to see if there was parking in back, during all my other early morning shopping trips, there were cars a plenty.

ETA: There's another 24-hour grocery store near me, and it looked the same as Walmart, although I'm pretty there's employee parking in back that I didn't check.

But again, I'm not defending any particular explanation. Perhaps I missed something important.

Yes, you missed something.

First, you state you didn't check "in the back" for employee parking. At my store they actually did change where we are supposed to park recently so if you were looking for us in the usual place you wouldn't see us.

Second, if everyone employed at a particular time is in the back/loading dock unloading a truck that just came in you wouldn't see anyone looking in the front doors. Those stores are huge places and it's easy to miss seeing the people inside if they're somewhere not in line-of-sight of windows or with shelves/product between them and doors/windows.

kayaker 03-23-2020 06:36 AM

Last week I went to a local bank to drop off a deposit from work and I was surprised that they weren't shut down other than the drive through. I asked the teller about this and she said they were all pissed off about it.

I sent an angry email to the bank, asking why they weren't doing more to protect the tellers. Likely coincidental, but the next day I got an email explaining that they are now only manning the drive though, exception by appointment only.

MissTake 03-23-2020 06:57 AM

My daughter works in the bakery of her local (rural / small college town) supermarket. They went from open 6am - 10pm to 8am - 8pm. They have hired workers and shifted regular workers to overnights for deep cleaning and stocking. In the bakery, the morning hours are still the same as if they opened at 6am due to the increase of production. Instead of closing the bakery at 8pm, they're now closing at 7pm, so only one hour loss in their department. The hot deli section is closed. Those employees have been moved to other areas for the duration. She stated by 8pm the semis are already rolling in, the independent distributors are bringing in stock, it's a machine. They have a delivery program that is so busy, if you were to order today, the first delivery is Thursday.

This past Saturday morning, I decided to take advantage of the senior / vulnerable shopping hour provided by my local higher end grocery store (I'm immuno-compromised). What a major clusterfuck. They opened at 7am. I got there at 715am and the place was absolutely packed. Unfortunately, there were a fair amount of independent distributors attempting to re-stock, more than a few people still being massively greedy, and the overall stupidity of people made me leave without purchasing anything. Went back in the afternoon and it was 100% more pleasant.

Mama Zappa 03-23-2020 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Drake (Post 22202687)
... Our local grocery store is no longer allowing re-usable bags, insisting that you use their plastic bags. Which is (a) not helpful, and (b) actually harmful on environmental grounds. (I mean, on the off chance that your canvas bag has the virus clinging to it, wouldn't your clothes have the same?)....

Interesting. Our grocery store is doing the exact opposite: they are really encouraging people to bring their own bags because their demand has been si high for everything, they were concerned about the possibility of running out.

Northern Piper 03-24-2020 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Drake (Post 22202687)
Which is (a) not helpful, and (b) actually harmful on environmental grounds. (I mean, on the off chance that your canvas bag has the virus clinging to it, wouldn't your clothes have the same?)

The grocery clerk doesn't touch your clothes while filing the bags (at least, not in grocery stores I frequent!). If you're infected, it could be on the bags, which they touch while they fill them.

Alley Dweller 03-24-2020 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 22207100)
The grocery clerk doesn't touch your clothes while filing the bags (at least, not in grocery stores I frequent!). If you're infected, it could be on the bags, which they touch while they fill them.

But as I walk down the street carrying the bags, the bags rub against my pants and the handles rub against my shirt. Are you saying a virus couldn't transfer from the bags to my pants or shirt this way?

Northern Piper 03-24-2020 08:38 AM

I don’t know, but that’s after the grocery clerk has filled them and given them to you.

By using plastic bags, the clerk never touches anything that you’ve touched.

Dr. Drake 03-24-2020 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 22207100)
The grocery clerk doesn't touch your clothes while filing the bags (at least, not in grocery stores I frequent!). If you're infected, it could be on the bags, which they touch while they fill them.

This didn't occur to me, as I always bag my own groceries.

Brayne Ded 03-24-2020 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22202646)
Another grocery store question: the store I usually go to has two entrances. One of them is now closed, forcing everyone to go in and out through a single set of doors. I'm not sure I understand how that's supposed to help?

So as to run the gauntlet of helpers and be greeted by a dollop of diluted ethanol on your paws?


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