When various lockdowns went into effect, closing businesses and eviscerating millions of people’s jobs and livelihoods, we somehow overlooked the most obvious source of transmission: essential businesses! Namely, grocery stores.
It should go without saying that every single person in America buys groceries. Young or old, rich or poor, sick or well, symptomatic or asymptomatic. So that means, no matter what, no matter which “non-essential” businesses you close, every single person is going to spend at least a little time exposing and being exposed. Even the most affluent and tech-savvy shoppers who use services like Instacart and “curbside pickup” are going to need to “grab a thing or two” from time to time, so it’s off to gas stations or Family Dollar. Not that using a personal shopping service is risk-free, either, since the shopper is also being exposed to the general public that chooses not to shop online.
Working for an “essential business”, I can tell you with all confidence that it is one of the riskiest environments for catching germs. The first year I worked this kind of job, I became sick as a dog, like 3 times that year, as I waited for my immune system to get used to the general public.
It’s no wonder retail is a breeding ground for disease. It’s almost impossible to socially distance. People pick stuff up, read it and put it back on the shelf. Children run wild and touch everything (or put it in their mouths). And the hygiene of many customers is lacking to put it nicely.
Don’t give me that crap about how masks fix everything, either. They simply don’t. There is not a practical way to police people that won’t wear them properly. And some of the masks are totally ineffective. Take the dust mask with the valve, for instance. It looks high-tech, yet doesn’t do anything to prevent virus spread. It breathes easier, though, so ignorant customers don’t care.
I’m afraid we’re going to be stuck with COVID-19 for a very long time. It’s a shame, too. With all the technology we have — order anything you want, right from your iPhone! — we could have gone into an effective, TOTAL lockdown and thwarted this present from China in a couple of weeks. Now it’s too late.