To the Editor:
For days now — or has it been weeks? — I have been thinking about the staff in our grocery stores. They, like much-deserving-of-gratitude hospital and healthcare facility workers, are on the frontlines. I usually go into Stop & Shop, Reliable, or Cronig’s a couple times a week. These mostly nameless yet familiar faces are busily stocking shelves while trying to provide adequate space for customers to pass. What about their health? What about the increased risk of them coming into contact with the coronavirus simply because of the number of people coming into the stores? Touching everything? Can they be expected to change their gloves every time they cross-contaminate from opening boxes, habitually scratching their faces, moving stock then going back to the job at hand? How do you maintain a six-foot distance when you have a largely at-home population coming into the stores and packing the aisles at all hours of the day?
I usually frequent Cronig’s, and these stalwart stockers look exhausted. Each has the look in his/her face of “When will this let up?” I’m sure Steve Bernier is on this situation, but I wonder how long should we wait? I’m no titan of industry, but wouldn’t now be the time to have someone posted at the entrance to allow only a set number of customers in at one time? We all have the time to wait our turn. I think these frontline workers need our support. And we thank each and every one of you!