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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I’ll be taking advantage of this, thanks, Giant Eagle!

And I’ll be hip checking any oldsters outa the way, as well. #SurvivaloftheFitest

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.

I’m 74 with health problems. I wouldn’t mind sharing the store with you. Just keep your distance.

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.

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.

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?

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).