Supermarkets should limit customers


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!

Eileen Reilly
Vineyard Haven


  1. Not only restrict the amounts of patrons, and store open hrs, have the employees wear appropriate face masks, gloves and eye covering, maybe even face shields. They need protection as well as to protect us from what might be lingering on the boxes and produce breathed or touched from anywhere by anyone.
    How is that for instigating paranoia?

  2. How about Cronigs develops an app like whole foods or instacart in the cities? Order what you want online and have it bagged/paid for prior to pickup? Not that expensive to do and probably the way grocery business will move anyway. Aside from that, limiting customers in the store (how about once a week to the store?) and using gloves/masks among staff, how about maybe a touch it you buy it policy? Everyone has to act like they are a carrier in order to prevent transmission right?

  3. I went to S&S today donning my N95 mask & latex gloves, armed with a pocket full of clorox wipes. I was shocked to see people milling around with no protection. Everyone owns a pair of gloves I imagine. And the cashiers with no gloves or masks. I can’t believe it.

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