Sunday, April 5, 2020

Shopping with the New Normal

Me, With My New Mask
At Wegman's, Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
Making our first trip into the "wild" yesterday, Chris and I visited Wegmans to obtain our two-week supply of food as we hunker down at home. 

We heeded the new guideline to wear masks in public and we also wore gloves to not only protect us from the world, but to protect the world from ourselves. 

With respect to wearing masks, I was distressed at the failure of the president to lead. One of the most important aspects of leadership is to model acceptable behaviors. When the president says that we should wear masks in public, but then goes on to say:  

“I just don’t want to be doing – somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk, the great Resolute Desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but this will pass, and hopefully it will pass very quickly.” (The Guardian)

That, friends, represents a failure of leadership! Rationalize his statement however you will, the end result is inescapable. Leaders must lead, not make excuses. They are judged by there actions and their results.

line Waiting to get into Wegmans
Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
So with my new mask on my face, I found that shopping in Wegmans was a totally new experience. There is a line (queue) to enter the store and we waited for about 15 minutes before being allowed inside. Once inside we were directed to a station to wash our hands and sanitize our shopping cart. Everyone practiced social distancing. It was very weird to have people obviously avoiding getting near me like I was infected with the plague--Oh wait, I might be infected, no one knows. 

Sign Directing People to the Checkout Queue
Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
On the plus side of the new normal equation, walking the aisles on a Saturday was a pleasant experience because the store limited the number of patrons who can enter. Even the check out is different, there is a single line with big dots on the floor designed to help patrons maintain acceptable social distancing. The store needs a dictionary because the cue referenced on the sign never materialized. There was, however, a queue. The wait to get to a register was minimal and I was impressed by the cleaning that is done between each customer. 

The new normal is anything but normal. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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