After carefully conserving certain food items—ahem, chocolate—and conscientiously eating leftovers to make our food supplies last as long as possible, I went to Costco for the first time in three weeks. (Truth is, we needed carrots and sweet potatoes to make Lulu’s food.)
Outside the store, two employees were spraying and wiping down wagons with disinfectant. I grabbed a wagon and headed for the end of the line. It zig-zagged through the outdoor eating area and then snaked around the building. Some people wore masks. I carried hand sanitizer. Everyone was considerate and cordial. I chatted with a woman from Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
As the line moved closer, I saw most of the items at the food court were out. At the entrance, a board listed what essentials items the store had in inventory and what did not—all the usual suspects.
It took 20 minutes to get inside the store. And, then, it was the most pleasant Costco adventure I’ve ever experienced. There were few people and few wagons blocking aisles, no frenetic energy to be found. There were also no food samplings, no pesto, and no line at checkout.
One of my favorite checkers, I won’t name names, admitted she wished she were at home with her children instead of working. She also reported some visitors were still coming in, and she felt the airports should be closed—no visitors, no returning residents—until it was safe.
It was my conversation with her that reminded me how much risk these employees are facing—even with the new plexiglas installed in front of their registers. “Thank you for being here,” I said, and remembered to thank the two employees at the exit, too. I mean, really, where would we be without all the people working at grocery stores? They don’t exactly get plaid the big bucks to put their health and, potentially, their lives on the line stocking and checking groceries.
Now, the cabinets and pantry and refrigerator are full, and we don’t know what to eat first.
Hawaii’s statewide count grew to 285, a second person has died, and a judge is evaluating whether to release 300+ inmates to prevent a potential spread in Hawaii’s jails. Kauai cases remains at 12.