Sunday, September 19
02:35 PM

Hopping around with Hopibi: Shop safe…stay safe!

10 Jun 2020

Last evening, I decided to visit a supermarket in town to pick up a few essentials. After going through the initial grind of awaiting my turn on social distancing markings on the floor, for a temperature scan, I proceeded to join a mass of shoppers who weren’t quite bothered about social distancing while shopping.

In fact, at the entrance itself, I was quite impressed by the smile of the guy in uniform who beckoned me to present myself for a temperature scan and then held out a box of polythene gloves for me to wear – free, of course. But, past the initial check no one seemed to be bothered about how shoppers behaved inside.

I cringed at the sight of a guy sneezing away to glory in one section, and he wasn’t even wearing a mask (or, perhaps, took it off after entering). Another sight that bothered me was at the rack that displayed face masks and gloves for sale. Despite notices put up not to open the packages to check the contents, some people kept ripping open the boxes to examine the masks and gloves and then clumsily dumping them back in the packing. How unhygienic!

Many shoppers were seen wearing cloth masks of varied fashionable designs as well as the traditional medical masks and polythene/latex gloves which gave them a sense of security. But the way shoppers handled goods on display, especially in the section of perishables (fruits/vegetables, fish/meat/poultry was frightening.

I dreaded the thought of touching tomatoes/capsicum or even a loaf of bread, wondering how many people have already touched them with contaminated gloves or dirty fingers that have had a field day picking their noses or rubbing their eyes. I couldn’t get myself to pick up anything for fear of bringing home the virus that would’ve found its way onto anything on display due to the negligent behaviour of shoppers.

The man in uniform smiled again as I led myself out of the melee of irresponsible shoppers and to my utter dismay saw another frightening sight – the free gloves handed out to shoppers were seen strewn all over the place outside the supermarket, though trash bins had been provided.

I had the urge to tell the cleaner at the gate who was seen sanitising the handles of trolleys, to pick up the gloves and masks thrown around, but then nearly bit my tongue as I stopped short. Why should he risk his own health due to the careless attitude of some shoppers!

Guys, please be a little more careful whle visiting supermarkets and other stores. Carry your used masks and gloves with you and dispose them off safely in the nearest trash bin or take them home for proper disposal. Do not undo what the healthworkers and the authorities have been doing for the past three months by your carelessness. In the end, our own safety and good health is dependent on each other in the community.

Shop safe…stay safe!


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