Photos by Bonnee Waldstein
Food shopping, along with the rest of life, is beginning to change from a surreal experience, to the new normal. Shoppers are smiling at each other and the Canyon Market staff, not sure if their expressions can be read beyond their face masks.
Janet Tarlov keeps the traffic moving safely
Everyone is adjusting to the social distancing orders which, hopefully, will keep us all safe from contracting and/or spreading the COVID-19 virus throughout our community and beyond.
Like the troopers Glen Parkers are known to be, everyone seems to be adjusting and looking out for each other. Catching up on the news or emails is a pastime while waiting on line to be let in.
So, rather than amble at will into the market, now patrons line up, six feet apart. They await the go-ahead from traffic cop Janet Tarlov, proprietor, who lets shoppers in as others leave the market. People enter through the front door and exit the side door.
Many precautions have been put in place since the pandemic hit. In addition to limiting the number of customers in the store to maintain six feet social distancing, shoppers scramble to avoid each other in the aisles. At checkout, they might need to bag their own groceries and stand away from the cashiers until it’s time to pay.
Canyon encourages shoppers to use credit cards to avoid the use of cash changing hands. Cashiers are swabbing down their counters continuously. Likewise, shopping carts are sanitized after use.
The shelves are reasonably well stocked, except for the toilet paper and other paper goods. The cleaning items are also available; perhaps that’s because shoppers are forgoing their usual penchant for the earth-friendly cleaners in favor of the big stuff, like bleach.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, Canyon has steadily developed orderly procedures to help stem the tide of transmission. In addition to limiting the shoppers at one time, Tarlov makes repeated announcements to the shoppers on line outside — for example, asking that only one person per household enter the store to safeguard shoppers and Canyon staff. Those who want coffee bar services give their order to Tarlov, who will bring the vital coffee outside to the caffeine deprived.
Today, Tarlov was sporting a lovely floral print face mask. “People are making them for us,” she said. It’s a symbol of neighborhood solidarity when needed most.