Jewel-meat-counter-sign
Jewel-meat-counter-sign
Jewel-meat-counter-sign
Jewel-meat-counter-sign
Jewel-meat-counter-sign

The Persistent Pandemic

Oct. 20, 2020

A couple of indicators that we're in for the long haul.

Things have long since calmed down at the supermarkets where I shop. No long lines, plenty of toilet paper, and a general return to normal. If it weren’t for all the masks and the social-distance markings on the floor, you’d hardly know anything was different.

Except for the occasional indicator. Like this sign at the butcher counter:

I asked the butcher if people are complaining about higher prices. “All the time,” he sighed. “At the beginning of this thing, people were really understanding, but now...”

Later, at another store, this was what the spice shelf looked like:

This was the discount spice shelf. I couldn’t tell if there was a similar run on branded spices, McCormick and such, because those are kept in a gravity-replenish rack that doesn’t let you see how many containers are in stock. (Must drive the stock clerks crazy.) Spices are, of course, in great demand among consumers who have to cook at home more than ever now.

As personal inconvenience goes, these were less than nothing. But they did serve as uncomfortable reminders that just because we’re getting used to the pandemic doesn’t mean it has gone away.