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How's your grocery?

Old 05-21-20, 05:18 PM
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shelbyfv
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How's your grocery?

Walmart is my closest. Lately I've been venturing in a couple of times a week. Mid-morning, so not very crowded. With one exception employees have worn masks. I would estimate 60+% of customers have had masks and we are in a fairly backward area (TN.) Most of those w/o appeared to be from a couple of predictable demographic groups. Most are obeying the one way aisles, even some of the "mask deniers." Our store is trying to force shoppers to use self checkout so only one or two checker lanes are open. I was well into a line before I realized the checker didn't have a mask. She was obese and I'm guessing it was hard for her to breathe through a mask. I didn't say anything about it but I'll be more alert in the future. I've read that time of potential exposure is a factor so today I tried a quick visit for a half dozen items and self checkout. I dislike self checkout but I was in and out much more quickly. What's grocery shopping like elsewhere? Any interesting safety measures beyond masks and one way aisles?
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Old 05-21-20, 05:28 PM
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I've tried to use self checkout as much as possible, although I think I was in Home Depot or Lowes that had closed down the self checkout.

I try to maintain a lot of distance, and even when around the checkers, I'll take a step back whenever practical.

At Lowes I saw a family that brought an elderly mother to look at refrigerators, so I gave them lots of distance.
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Old 05-21-20, 07:19 PM
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Local grocer is good. I go at 9 AM on Monday, store is not crowded at all, shelves are mostly full. Even toilet paper. They offer hand sanitizer at the entrance and sanitize the handles of carts, baskets. I would say 80% of the staff wear masks and maybe 20% of the customers, but it is increasing. Masks are still very hard to find here, I have ordered some online and it taking weeks.
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Old 05-21-20, 08:07 PM
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our stores are fine but thereís a difference between Walmart store policies in a few towns near me. for example one limits the number of TP products to just 1 item of each type but another walmart a cpl towns away will let you buy 3

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Old 05-22-20, 03:27 AM
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I do my grocery shopping very early in the morning before large crowds of people have contaminated the store. All of out stores limit the amount of people that can go in. I use self-checkouts.
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Old 05-22-20, 09:34 AM
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In my hood, masks are required indoors, and virtually all grocery shoppers are wearing masks (of varying quality). The market also has designated places for people to wait for checkout, as well as self-checkout. There are also splash-shields between customers and the checkout person ... not sure that makes any difference at all.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:26 PM
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My HEB in Austin has limited entrance to one side of the store, which is where you can pick up your cleaned shopping cart. Masks are required and most inside the maintain distance. Personally, I've adopted a "If I touch it, I buy it" approach to everything from produce to packaged meat to canned goods, so I shop more actively with my eyes these days. I figure the more things I touch, the more chances there are to leave my germs or pick up someone else's.

Before all this, I used to go to the store 2-3 times a week but now I mostly do delivery, when I can get a slot. Early on, I couldn't get a delivery slot for 7-10 days, but in the last few days, many more slots seem to be available within 2-3 days. I don't know if this is the result of increasing their delivery staff or more people returning to shop in person.

The store has wide aisles so they haven't made any one-way aisles. There are currently limits on meats but everything else is well stocked...except for Clorox/Lysol wipes, which continue to elude me, although I have some being delivered tomorrow by Amazon.
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Old 05-23-20, 04:36 AM
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Our local shops (not Walmart type) have been fine all along here. In the early morning hours not many people there at all. No mask requirements, just one way isles and distancing practices encouraged. Only really big change is one person per trip, so no couples or family units shopping. They actually enforce this. Although a parent with a kid or kids is usually not because you can't just leave your kids. Usually if both parents are there with kids they don't allow them all in. Have seen this a couple of times. We have not had any shortages really for some time now.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:53 AM
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Iím a lawyer for a railroad. Ergo, I donít use self checkout. I donít stock the shelves either.

NSFW


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Old 05-25-20, 12:41 PM
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The supply chain is slowly catching up with demand. I notice shelves being more fully restocked. I don't think this means we are getting back to normal as the new normal is gong to be different than the old normal. As the Zen Buddhist monk said, "You can;t cross the same river twice". People seem to be more used to wearing masks while out and about so I count this as progress.

Some years ago someone wrote either an article or book, don't remember which now, about a "just in time economy" with a much shorter and faster supply chain. At the time that made sense. Instead of goods just sitting an a warehouse waiting for orders, goods would be on their way much sooner to consumers. We can see now that faster is not necessarily better if vulnerability to shocks is increased. It was assumed that any shocks would be confined to a relatively small area effected by run of the mill events such as tornado of hurricane, floods, and the remaining areas of the economy cold easily pick up the slack. In a pandemic everyone is under the ax and there is no slack. Maybe we should be prepared like farm families of old with foods put up as if for long winters.

I just googled "just in time" and came up with an article from David Brin, a very smart guy, on that topic. DAVID BRIN: The Bug in 'Just-in-Time' Economics
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Old 05-25-20, 02:09 PM
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I've ordered groceries to be delivered three times, but next time, I think I will order online and do a curbside pickup. In the early days, I didn't even want to leave my house, so even contactless pickup was not an option for me.
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Old 05-25-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rider_1 View Post
JIT was just another in a loooong string of silly business fads.
A business fad that revolutionized manufacturing. Toyota has done more than OK by it and has been used as a model for many others. I worked for a yard that built railroad cars and barges. Before JIT, many pieces of steel were moved 4 times between delivery and cutting, After, pieces often went from the truck or RR car straight to the cutting tables. (With the larger pieces coming in at 10,000 lbs, that adds up.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
A business fad that revolutionized manufacturing. Toyota has done more than OK by it and has been used as a model for many others. I worked for a yard that built railroad cars and barges. Before JIT, many pieces of steel were moved 4 times between delivery and cutting, After, pieces often went from the truck or RR car straight to the cutting tables. (With the larger pieces coming in at 10,000 lbs, that adds up.
Fair enough, I'll concede that. When I was learning about JIT, though, it was supposed to revolutionize everything.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rider_1 View Post
Fair enough, I'll concede that. When I was learning about JIT, though, it was supposed to revolutionize everything.
I deleted my previous post as I have confused JIT concept with something else. My mistake.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:43 PM
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I do curbside pick up at the local grocery store. The employees nearly all wear masks. A lot of the customers do not. It makes me mad that they do not.

I have zero issues with someone exercising their liberty if they want to risk exposure but if you're not wearing a mask in a store, you risk infecting others. I thought your liberty ends when your actions or inactions threaten the life or health of others but that's not where we are in the US of A today apparently.
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Old 05-25-20, 04:13 PM
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Ummm, right, yeah... sure. Yes, there are defects and massive problems currently in supply chains and production around the world, exacerbated by the global pandemic. This does not negate the transformation of industrial production brought about by JIT, (which bears some problems caused by, but is in no way equivalent to the obvious weaknesses in complex global supply chains.) JIT can be imagined in some ways to be an extension of the assembly linev as a increase in productive efficiency, (separate from the issue of distant and limited sources of supply)... One can argue about what hidden costs these revolutionary increases in productivity have, and how those costs are divided and shared unevenly, between individuals, different societies, and even by life on the planet as a whole, but a fad?

Stay safe... Cheers, Eric
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Old 05-25-20, 04:21 PM
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I stepped out and returned to find the discussion settled.
Oh well.🤦
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Old 05-26-20, 02:09 AM
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I usually go to the grocery store late at night anyway, about an hour before closing, so there are rarely many customers. No change for me.

Some stores put up plastic shields, some didn't.

Some employees wear masks, some don't. Texans decided May 1 was the end of the pandemic so the customers wearing masks has dropped from around 50% to 10%, including me.

I gave up debating the mask issue with people. If they hesitate or argue in the slightest I've realized they are absolutely impenetrable to persuasion or logic. As a former health care worker with a lot of experience in sterile procedures I'm prepared to offer the proven facts on what works, why it works, and what doesn't work or isn't necessary. I makes zero difference in any debate I've had. Opponents will keep moving the goal posts. A young lady the other day kept changing the argument to suit herself, including conflating surgical masks with N95 masks with full PPE respirators with filters (she didn't know the difference); and then quoted from the internet a list of sterile field procedures for surgery and tried to argue that if you can't meet those standards the whole thing is pointless. She refused to accept the proven function of a simple mask -- to prevent the wearer's own drool from flying everywhere. She decided that if the mask didn't protect her and her alone it was pointless. Screw everyone else.

I've also heard all the arguments about "my asthma" and "oxygen deprivation/toxic CO2 concentration." Utter rubbish. I have asthma, chronic upper respiratory inflammation, a deviated septum that makes it hard to breathe sometimes, including with a mask. All easily fixed. I wear Breathe Right or similar external nose strips to hold open my nose (and recently added a Rhinomed Turbine internal nasal dilator, which does the same thing). My immunologist changed my steroid inhalers and the new sprays work really well. So, yeah, even with my respiratory issues I can still wear the stupid paper mask.

And I had to wear a full canister filter respirator on the job years ago, in 100F summer heat. We managed.

The main issue isn't "breathing." It's heat. Wearing PPE is hot. Especially full body PPE. It can make it feel like the ambient temperature is 10-20 degrees hotter. That's why operating rooms are so cold. So doctors and nurses don't pass out from heat exhaustion. The trick is to stay as cool as possible while wearing a mask. Wear layers and peel 'em off in the store. Take off that hipster knit beanie and MAGA gimme cap. Drink some cold water. Take breaks and take the mask off for awhile when you're not near other people. Hundreds of thousands of health care professionals have managed for decades, even with their own health issues.

And I stock up on TP two or three times a year, enough to last awhile, so, again, the shortage it didn't affect me. As a caregiver for three elderly family members over a 20 year period I learned older folks go through a lot of TP. Like, as much as a roll a day. They'll use it as kleenex, napkins, pretty much anything you can imagine. Not worth fussing over so I got in the habit of buying plenty so we never ran out. My mom died over a year ago but I'm still in the same habit. I think I stocked up in January and never came close to running short, since I use a normal amount of TP. Is a week per roll normal for the softer, thicker stuff? I dunno. And half of that probably goes to cleaning up after my three cats' hairball barfs.

I semi-stocked up on meat a month or so ago when prices dropped. I knew the price decrease was temporary and it would nearly double soon as the market shifted from excess to shortage as human labor and transportation became a problem. I might eat 4-8 oz of meat a day so I already had enough to last for months. Or, for a family, a couple of weeks.

As other folks noted, we haven't seen the end up consumer goods problems. Between just-in-time inventory, disruptions in the supply chain, labor shortages, transportation issues, etc., we'll see some continued shortages and price increases for the next year.

Business pundits are predicting this will motivate a return to domestic manufacturing and supply so we're not so dependent on foreign supply chains. That might work for a year or two. But American consumers have become spoiled by cheap prices, even if it means inferior goods. Their patriotism will wear out quickly when US made goods cost more. And the whole ecumenical/bipartisan gummint/corporate nexus that shifted manufacturing and supply sourcing overseas in the 1990s won't wait more than one or two unprofitable quarters of an experiment with domestic manufacturing before they outsource again.

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Old 06-22-20, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Walmart is my closest. Lately I've been venturing in a couple of times a week. Mid-morning, so not very crowded. With one exception employees have worn masks. I would estimate 60+% of customers have had masks and we are in a fairly backward area (TN.) Most of those w/o appeared to be from a couple of predictable demographic groups. Most are obeying the one way aisles, even some of the "mask deniers." Our store is trying to force shoppers to use self checkout so only one or two checker lanes are open. I was well into a line before I realized the checker didn't have a mask. She was obese and I'm guessing it was hard for her to breathe through a mask. I didn't say anything about it but I'll be more alert in the future. I've read that time of potential exposure is a factor so today I tried a quick visit for a half dozen items and self checkout. I dislike self checkout but I was in and out much more quickly. What's grocery shopping like elsewhere? Any interesting safety measures beyond masks and one way aisles?
Masks are mandatory. Originally that was by store order, then county, and now state.

All but one entrance is closed, with the remaining door guarded by a bouncer counting how many people are in the store and enforcing the occupancy limit.

The ground is marked at six foot intervals to enforce social distancing among people waiting to enter.

Inside aisles are marked for one-way traffic.

At checkout, only one customer may have goods on the belt at once. Whole foods sanitizes it between people.

A plexiglass barrier separates mask wearing customers and checkers from each other.

For payment some lines don't allow cash.

Reusable bags are prohibited and previously banned plastic bags are back. The increased bag use caused Safeway to run out for a while, requiring them to scrounge boxes for customers checking out.

Meat availability is spotty. Often the $3.99/pound boneless skinless chicken thighs are sold out and they have only organic at twice the price or none at all. Steak family packs are hit or miss. I've filled my freezer so that's not a problem.

Paper products, soup, and dry goods like pasta are all back in stock.
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Old 06-22-20, 08:39 AM
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Cheese prices soared to a record high on June 8,...

.


...when a 40-pound block of Cheddar — the benchmark for cheese, akin to a barrel of West Texas Intermediate in oil markets — touched $2.585 a pound on the CME.
That was a 160 percent turnaround from mid-April, when the same block of cheese would have cost only a dollar a pound.

“It’s the most volatility that we’ve seen in the cheese market ever,” said Phil Plourd, president of Blimling and Associates, a dairy commodity consulting firm in Madison, Wis. “If there was a cheese VIX index, it would have been spiking,” he added, referring to the volatility index often described as the stock market’s “fear gauge.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/22/b...ar-prices.html
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Old 06-22-20, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Masks are mandatory. Originally that was by store order, then county, and now state.

All but one entrance is closed, with the remaining door guarded by a bouncer counting how many people are in the store and enforcing the occupancy limit.

The ground is marked at six foot intervals to enforce social distancing among people waiting to enter.

Inside aisles are marked for one-way traffic.

At checkout, only one customer may have goods on the belt at once. Whole foods sanitizes it between people.

A plexiglass barrier separates mask wearing customers and checkers from each other.

For payment some lines don't allow cash.

Reusable bags are prohibited and previously banned plastic bags are back. The increased bag use caused Safeway to run out for a while, requiring them to scrounge boxes for customers checking out.

Meat availability is spotty. Often the $3.99/pound boneless skinless chicken thighs are sold out and they have only organic at twice the price or none at all. Steak family packs are hit or miss. I've filled my freezer so that's not a problem.

Paper products, soup, and dry goods like pasta are all back in stock.
This is pretty much the same as what I see in San Diego at the moment... you are not allowed to enter a store without masks... usually someone is standing "guard." Carts are sanitized between uses with some sort of spray application. Cash is not accepted. I have seen no shortage of meats; paper products have returned, but certain cleaning products are not to be found. (try to find Lysol or Lysol wipes... ) Alcohol is rare, but on occasion available. There are all sorts of "hand cleaning products." Masks are available at the counters for future use. And traffic control at the registers is strictly enforced... "Next!" Not so much in the aisles where some patrons simply do not follow the one way arrows.

I wear gloves when I shop, as well as a mask, and try to only shop every two weeks. Takes a bit of creative menu planning that way... fresh goods the first week, canned and frozen the second week.

Restaurants of course have take out, and some have limited outdoor seating, if they have the space. The local cities are trying to incorporate "slow streets" in some areas to allow restaurants to put in outdoor seating by using some street area, and limiting motor traffic at select times.

Beaches are a mixed bag... they seem crowded to me... in parks, people maintain distances. Mask wearing on the street... about half the folks do not wear masks... or they have masks, but around their neck vice face, or they carry them... I suppose some sort of magic talisman that way, eh?
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Old 06-22-20, 08:56 AM
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I grocery shop once a week. I try to go during less crowded times. Mask use among customers are around 50 - 60%. Employees 100%. However, our city is now requiring 100% mask use in public spaces since our cases have been shooting up. It will be interesting to see what it is like at the grocery store this week. I'm surprised that the shelves are still bare in some spots. Strange things too. Like pickles. Is there pickle hording or pickle supply problems?
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Old 06-22-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
I grocery shop once a week. I try to go during less crowded times. Mask use among customers are around 50 - 60%. Employees 100%. However, our city is now requiring 100% mask use in public spaces since our cases have been shooting up. It will be interesting to see what it is like at the grocery store this week. I'm surprised that the shelves are still bare in some spots. Strange things too. Like pickles. Is there pickle hording or pickle supply problems?




...pickle production is sort of interesting. A lot of pickling plants operate like meat packing plants, with line workers doing a lot of hand sorting and pickle packing on assembly lines. If I had to guess, it would be that they are struggling with adapting the factory process to this disease.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post

Reusable bags are prohibited and previously banned plastic bags are back.
I am in Philly and what you describe is pretty much the same when it comes to rules of shopping--except for the above. What is the theory behind that? That my Timbuk2 messenger bag might be contaminated and infect other surfaces?

BTW...I have found that most people are oblivious to the one-way aisle markings. I am pretty good at following the rule and even I forget. It's mostly because I want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Also, the overwhelming majority of shoppers think distancing is the other guy's responsibility. But what really gets me is when people pull down their masks once they are in the store. I gave an older man "the look" last week after he took down his mask to talk on the phone. He got the message and pulled it back up. Every day I see more and more people with their masks all the way down or at below their noses, which is like a guy wearing underwear below his "thing."
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Old 06-23-20, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I am in Philly and what you describe is pretty much the same when it comes to rules of shopping--except for the above. What is the theory behind that? That my Timbuk2 messenger bag might be contaminated and infect other surfaces?

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That is the theory. It might be contaminated and be a danger to the staff if they have to handle it. I think its fairly bogus, but using only their bags does seem to make the process go more quickly and smoothly.
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