View Poll Results: Should I take advantage of Senior Hour?
Yes 60 81.08%
No 9 12.16%
Other 5 6.76%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 03-22-2020, 04:31 PM
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Seniors-only shopping times - An ethical question


As you probably know, many grocery-type stores have instituted set times - typically an hour - for seniors-only shopping. The idea is to give older folks a fighting chance in these troubled times.

The minimum ages for these excursions I've seen have been either 60 or 62.

I just turned 62. I am able-bodied and in pretty good health.

I am thinking I will take advantage of this perk, but a sliver of my conscience is telling me that I should not, that I should step aside and let the less-abled have this time.

The other part of my brain is telling me that I am, in fact, eligible and should indeed shop during senior hour.

For the record, I'm not looking to hoard; merely doing my regular shopping.

Interested in other opinions.


mmm

ETA: Maybe this belongs in the Quarantine forum? Can we do polls there? Mods, feel free to move if appropriate.

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 03-22-2020 at 04:36 PM.
  #2  
Old 03-22-2020, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
As you probably know, many grocery-type stores have instituted set times - typically an hour - for seniors-only shopping. The idea is to give older folks a fighting chance in these troubled times.



The minimum ages for these excursions I've seen have been either 60 or 62.



I just turned 62. I am able-bodied and in pretty good health.



I am thinking I will take advantage of this perk, but a sliver of my conscience is telling me that I should not, that I should step aside and let the less-abled have this time.



The other part of my brain is telling me that I am, in fact, eligible and should indeed shop during senior hour.



For the record, I'm not looking to hoard; merely doing my regular shopping.



Interested in other opinions.





mmm
I think the idea is that being over 60, your risk is still a lot higher than a younger person. There may be other risk factors you're overlooking, too.

I wouldn't feel bad about going if I were you, if you absolutely had to go. Best to not go at all, limit your trips, shop online, etc.
  #3  
Old 03-22-2020, 04:40 PM
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Yes, you should take advantage of those hours...I certainly do. For one thing, there are a lot fewer people in the store, a definite plus.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:54 PM
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You are still more at risk than the general population even if you do not combine the age risk with other underlying health issues. Since the population you would be shopping with is less likely to expose themselves, the risk of you being exposed is probably lower.

One of the points of trying to flatten the curve is to limit demand for scarce medical resources. You do have higher risk of requiring more care if you get it than say my 21 yr old niece. Sure that level of care still makes it more survivable for you than some of your fellow even higher risk patients. You are still competing with them for medical care if you get it. It is better to compete with them for a can of soup than it is to compete with them for a ventilator. If things get bad, based on the Italian experience, you are more likely to get intubated while someone older with other risk factors is simply allowed to die.

Help those at higher risk than you ensure access to care. Go shopping with them.
  #5  
Old 03-22-2020, 05:03 PM
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By virtue of your age, you are more vulnerable than younger people, regardless of how you feel at the moment. The purpose of the senior-only shopping hour is to help you stay healthy, and that serves everyone. It is not just in your personal interest, but in the interest of your whole community that you stay healthy.

This is not like using a disabled parking place when you don't need to, okay? Totally different. You are not taking advantage of the situation or anything.
  #6  
Old 03-22-2020, 05:06 PM
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As long as you're not sick, you should totally go. And by going at a time that's not so crowded you're actually helping the younger people keep their physical distancing, 'cos that's one less body in the room when THEY'RE shopping, so go for it
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:13 PM
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I don't see a problem. You're eligible, go for it. I say this as a 62 year old who is not so able-bodied. I won't begrudge sharing the store with you.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:27 PM
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Ethically, no problem at all. But you shouldn't feel constrained to do it.

I'm 68, and in great health. My store offers senior hours on days which do not include a special sale day. We went at our normal time last week. But I wouldn't feel bad about going during the senior days, especially if I could grab some of the stuff they are sold out of.
  #9  
Old 03-22-2020, 05:46 PM
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I'm not convinced seniors-only shopping times are a great idea. Less crowding is definitely helpful, but unless stores are ensuring people are staying at least 6 feet apart and limiting shoppers allowed inside to 50, seniors are not necessarily any safer.

But don't take my word for it. Here's the Washington Post:

Quote:
There’s no such thing as being too cautious as a senior citizen during this time, but the details of how these shopping hours would benefit them are questionable, according to Alysa Krain, an infectious disease doctor who specializes in geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

“Right away, that kind of makes me nervous,” she said, adding that she and her colleagues are advising their elderly patients to have friends and relatives shop for them. “It was a good idea in general, but it’s a little bit dangerous if it’s not controlled.”

Krain said stores should still be mindful about ensuring that seniors keep at least six feet between them and other people, and to dissuade crowds beyond 50 people.
I was at my local supermarket the other day. It was not a seniors-only time slot, but it was early afternoon. There weren't many people shopping and only short lines at registers. But dang, people were bad at staying 6 feet apart. I was picking out an English cucumber, and an elderly guy reached past me to grab a bell pepper. I stopped in the bread aisle to get bagels, and a woman going the other way stopped her cart so she was right next to me while she looked at packages across the aisle.

I wish more stores offered home delivery. It'd be much safer for everyone.
  #10  
Old 03-22-2020, 06:00 PM
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I'm not convinced seniors-only shopping times are a great idea. Less crowding is definitely helpful, but unless stores are ensuring people are staying at least 6 feet apart and limiting shoppers allowed inside to 50, seniors are not necessarily any safer.



But don't take my word for it. Here's the Washington Post:







I was at my local supermarket the other day. It was not a seniors-only time slot, but it was early afternoon. There weren't many people shopping and only short lines at registers. But dang, people were bad at staying 6 feet apart. I was picking out an English cucumber, and an elderly guy reached past me to grab a bell pepper. I stopped in the bread aisle to get bagels, and a woman going the other way stopped her cart so she was right next to me while she looked at packages across the aisle.



I wish more stores offered home delivery. It'd be much safer for everyone.
I'd like to think that during a time slot devoted to high-risk people, people would tend to be mindful of distancing.

Last edited by needscoffee; 03-22-2020 at 06:01 PM.
  #11  
Old 03-22-2020, 06:33 PM
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Kroger has set aside their first hour for seniors. 7AM-8 Mon thru Thursday in my area.

Shelves are usually stocked overnight. Seniors will have a chance to buy items first.

I assume their limiting quantities. So hoarders don't empty the shelves.

https://www.thv11.com/article/news/c...9-d8e531ff49b5

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-22-2020 at 06:37 PM.
  #12  
Old 03-22-2020, 06:34 PM
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It probably is better to use delivery or ask others to shop for you. But if you can't, then going at a time designated for seniors seems a reasonable compromise.

Whole Foods has also set aside the hour before regular opening for seniors.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 03-22-2020 at 06:35 PM.
  #13  
Old 03-22-2020, 06:43 PM
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I'll be taking advantage of this, thanks, Giant Eagle!

And I'll be hip checking any oldsters outa the way, as well. #SurvivaloftheFitest
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:16 PM
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That darting in behavior is also reported by my lovely wife, who has decided it's better to go during regular hours during a lull than the mobbed senior hour she experienced.
  #15  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:38 PM
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I'm 74 with health problems. I wouldn't mind sharing the store with you. Just keep your distance.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:56 PM
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We're early 70s and live on a muddy mountain track nobody but FedEx and UPS deliver to if they can find us. One major grocer down in the county seat offers scheduled order pickup time slots - if we can wait five days. We would surely prefer a guaranteed time for old farts to shop, which may lead us to other stores with that option.

Then there's the opposite. How about shopping times for COVID-positives only?
  #17  
Old 03-23-2020, 12:31 AM
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We're early 70s and live on a muddy mountain track nobody but FedEx and UPS deliver to if they can find us. One major grocer down in the county seat offers scheduled order pickup time slots - if we can wait five days. We would surely prefer a guaranteed time for old farts to shop, which may lead us to other stores with that option.

Then there's the opposite. How about shopping times for COVID-positives only?
Covid-positives need to observe strict quarantine. They can't go shopping at all.
  #18  
Old 03-23-2020, 12:42 AM
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Covid-positives need to observe strict quarantine. They can't go shopping at all.
One hopes they wouldn't anyway. I don't think "can't" is being enforced at present in this country by anything except social pressure. And it can be hard to recognize. I'd hate to have an allergy sneezing attack (which I do get from time to time) in a supermarket, I'd probably be beaten to death by the other customers.
  #19  
Old 03-23-2020, 02:23 AM
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I'd hate to have an allergy sneezing attack (which I do get from time to time) in a supermarket, I'd probably be beaten to death by the other customers.
A joke popped up a couple days ago.
Two men entered a bank wearing masks and everyone inside panicked.
Then the men waved pistols and yelled, "This is a holdup!" and everyone relaxed.
Would dousing a busy store with sneezing powder provoke a riot?
  #20  
Old 03-23-2020, 02:50 AM
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I’m 63, and I’m not thrilled at all about the “opportunity” to get into the store at 8:00 a.m. But that’s mostly because I don’t like the idea of getting up that early. I’m probably going to bite the bullet and do it, though. Last week I stood outside a Ralph’s supermarket for an entire hour, waiting for them to open. It was NOT a wise move on my part. My pelvis was killing me (my fondest hope is to be able to keep my left hip unreplaced until I’m eligible for Medicare).
  #21  
Old 03-23-2020, 03:31 AM
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I am old enough to qualify but couldn't be bothered. My brother did once, because he happened to be out and about. He said it was great with so few people there. So it's not as if you are disadvantaging anyone else.

If it makes you feel guilty, but you want to take advantage, then only buy things that you don't really want.
  #22  
Old 03-23-2020, 05:34 AM
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How about shopping times for COVID-positives only?
How long before there are obviously sick people out shopping who deny they have corona? People who live alone, are ill, but need food.
  #23  
Old 03-23-2020, 07:21 AM
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A joke popped up a couple days ago.
Two men entered a bank wearing masks and everyone inside panicked.
Then the men waved pistols and yelled, "This is a holdup!" and everyone relaxed.
Would dousing a busy store with sneezing powder provoke a riot?

This happened In my local Walmart

Short version masked man handed cashier not demanding money and if he didn't receive it he would start shooting customers.

https://www.kxxv.com/news/local-news...ery-at-walmart

I shop and do a wide variety of services for seniors. Just unbelievable .
Meanwhile less than 1/2 mile at my local HEB an elderly lady, someone decided to take something they wanted from her cart. That did not go well, this is Military town less than a half mile from Fort Hood. Also a good ole boy town populated with many men and women who still respect elderly people and women and who still say yes mamn and open doors.

I don't have a link for this one..

Last edited by shh1313; 03-23-2020 at 07:25 AM. Reason: X
  #24  
Old 03-23-2020, 09:33 AM
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The senior-only shopping hours at stores in our area are generally from 6:00 am to 7:00 am. I am dead asleep at that time. So senior hours are out of the question!!
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:55 AM
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I was thinking about it, but then I read that our local stores are most busy during those times. So Ill wait til mid-afternoon.

I'm late 60s but healthy; I'll leave the Senior Hour for people my age who are acting their age...
  #26  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:05 AM
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It's called Senior Hour, not Seniors With Disabilities Or Other Underlying Conditions Hour. Would you feel bad taking advantage of Denny's Senior Menu, as well? You're at a greater risk than me whether you have health problems in addition to being older, or not. Take advantage of the protection being offered to you.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:13 AM
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Would you feel bad taking advantage of Denny's Senior Menu, as well?
How exactly do things like that work? I'm 62, and I've never taken advantage of any old-people deals. Do they check ID?
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:29 AM
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How exactly do things like that work? I'm 62, and I've never taken advantage of any old-people deals. Do they check ID?
If you're lucky they do!

Usually they just look at you and agree you're an old fart.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 03-23-2020 at 10:30 AM.
  #29  
Old 03-23-2020, 12:04 PM
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I'm about ready to start carrying a small spray bottle with me everywhere I go and every time some jackass crowds within range I'm gonna politely say "Achoo" and mist them right in the face. Then say "Congratulations, if I had COVID, you'd be infected now. Stay the fuck BACK." Probably get me punched but dayum, it makes me smile to even think about doing this.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:54 PM
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If you're lucky they do!

Usually they just look at you and agree you're an old fart.
I know the feeling. I could never win. I did get carded when I was 25, and I don't get carded now.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:16 PM
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One good thing about those senior shopping hours is that they're the first hour of the day. If stocking happened overnight, everything you need should be in stock, and you get first pick before The Masses clean the shelves again. This is good because hopefully it keeps you from having to come to the store more often, to check to see if that thing you needed is available yet. Also the store should be cleanest at this hour.

Absolutely sucks that it's SO early (I would never be able to get up that early!) but it is really the best situation for vulnerable people.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:29 PM
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I cannot believe y'all are complaining about the early time of day. Holy crap!
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:34 PM
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I cannot believe y'all are complaining about the early time of day. Holy crap!
I know several older folks who have trouble sleeping at night and aren't up and around at 7 AM. Even my mom, who's always been an early riser, isn't typically out of the house until 10 or so anymore.
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:30 PM
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These hours spread out the population density. The stores felt it was socially acceptable (and maybe there are good reasons for using age) to use age to spread people out. They could have used hair color (grey goes first! ) or even and odd birthdays. There is a benefit to lowering the population density in the store. So yes, it is definitely morally and practicably OK for you to take advantage of the special times.

I read in China they used families, as in only one person from each family could go to the store every 3 days.

The mechanism doesn't matter. The goal is to lower population density.
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:15 AM
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I get what everyone is saying, but I posed this question from a different perspective.

My thought was that this was instituted to make it easier for seniors to shop without younger, more nimble citizens clogging up the aisle or being elbowed to and fro by hooligans.

The social distancing aspect makes sense too.


mmm
  #36  
Old 03-24-2020, 07:39 AM
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Our store has instituted this policy. (And the chain in our region has different hours from what the national HQ has announced. So check on this first.)

Sure, I'm not disabled or anything but I'm running low on bread. So I went in this morning. Got my bread and a couple other items. No guilt whatsoever.

----- (End of responding to OP's question. Begin some FWIW info about the topic.)

The parking lot had a lot of cars. There were 4 beefy guys guarding the one open door. The lines at the checkouts were really long. I did the self-checkout. Only 1 set of them was open. The clerk there was non-stop busy. Turns out some seniors don't do well with the tech, etc.)

As I was leaving, the hour was about to end. So there was a good sized group of non-seniors waiting to get in. They all crowded together around the entrance/exit with barely enough room for me to get out.

Social distancing in America? We're doomed.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:19 AM
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I wish there was an option for people buying things for an elderly relative or a quarantined person at home.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:54 PM
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A friend of mine, who is 80, went to the senior hour at the same store I go to. He said it was very crowded - more crowded than the non-senior hour I went to - and that the baggers did not want to touch his reusable bags.
I think I did better at social distancing when I went.
I went to self checkout and I always bag my own bags when possible. I wrote a paper on the bin packing problem in grad school so I consider myself an expert.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:25 AM
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My issue is young (apparently) healthy people, a whole family of them, who dragged Gramma out of bed so they could take advantage. I really doubt Gramma is buying all that beer and nachos. But supposedly they are the caretakers who need to accompany Gramma. One store here has set a limit of 1 caretaker per old person.
  #40  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:31 AM
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How long before there are obviously sick people out shopping who deny they have corona? People who live alone, are ill, but need food.
Aw, hell, my store had a couple of obviously sick people every week even before this started. We still get 'em.

Do they have covid? Who the hell knows when you can't get a test unless you're practically dying and still have to wait a week for results?
  #41  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:36 AM
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I just turned 62. I am able-bodied and in pretty good health.
It doesn't matter if you're able-bodied and/or in good general health.

Your age alone puts you at higher risk of severe illness or death if you catch the virus.

You don't HAVE TO go during senior hours but you are, in fact, among the people this is intended for.

Use your best judgement, but yes, very much, you should take advantage of senior shopping hours without feeling any pangs of guilt.
  #42  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:18 AM
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I think the judgement you make should depend on how well you think your situation fits the intent of the rule. They can't intuit the ability of each potential customer to handle exposure risk. Age is a proxy, instead. If you think you are very much in the mainstream of humanity regarding your ability to handle exposure risk then you might reasonably shop during regular hours, but if you think you have added risk as is typical of the 60+ crowd then you should take advantage.
  #43  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:44 AM
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As several have said, in some ways, age is just being used as a convenient and socially acceptable way to divide people into groups to pare down how many are in the store at once. We might also have considered instituting hours for everyone with a last name starting with A-L - except that would be rough on those essential workers working at that time. At least seniors are more likely to not be working, and have more flexible hours for shopping.

Having the shelves more fully stocked is a nice perk, but I don't think it's why they're doing it.

But the final thing to consider is cleanliness. At least some of the stores are using the overnight closures to do deep cleaning and disinfecting. So first thing in the morning is when the store is the cleanest it's going to be all day. Makes sense to have the most vulnerable in at that time.
  #44  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:38 AM
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It doesn't matter if you're able-bodied and/or in good general health.

Your age alone puts you at higher risk of severe illness or death if you catch the virus.

You don't HAVE TO go during senior hours but you are, in fact, among the people this is intended for.

Use your best judgement, but yes, very much, you should take advantage of senior shopping hours without feeling any pangs of guilt.
I agree.

If you look at the statistics for Italy over 6800 have died, but most of them were over 60 and NONE under age 30. So why not encourage under 30's to work and quarantine (and help) those over 60?
  #45  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:54 AM
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Yes, you should take advantage of those hours...I certainly do. For one thing, there are a lot fewer people in the store, a definite plus.
The flip side of this is that everyone in the store will be an old person. If you like getting stuck behind a bunch of elderly people dawdling their way through every aisle, go for it!
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  #46  
Old 03-25-2020, 09:15 AM
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I went by Whole Foods (in the Quarry for any locals on the board) intending to come at 7 am to check out the senior shopping time. I didn't get there until 8 am and there was no line of any sort. I went in and even though many shelves were bare, I was able to get most of what I wanted-- milk, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, WFM bread, chicken breast tenders. There were about 25-ish customers in the whole store, many of them (like me) wearing blue nitrile gloves. The checkout person bagged all my groceries in brown paper sacks. I was in and out in 15 mins. The checkout clerk said it had been pretty crowded in the 7-8 hour and they had to open another checkout line. YMMV.

@Shoeless, not all of us old folks dawdle.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 03-25-2020 at 09:16 AM.
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