News/Humor: Foraging Under Stress

I had another one of those trips to the grocery store that made me never want to set foot in it again. There are no delivery appointments available, so it is THE option if I am trying to obtain food within a short distance of my home. It is a risk, because there have been more than 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases in my zip code, which means that neighbors have been, and perhaps continue to be, exposed. Each visit seems slightly worse than the previous one in terms of waiting to get inside (longer), existential dread (more), awkwardness in reaching for an item near other people also reaching (constant), and a lack of accommodation for a minor wrist problem (paper handle bags are a ticket to unavailable physical therapy for me; yes, repacking my groceries outside without touching any environmental surfaces or standing near anyone else in public on a busy street is icing on a sand-based cake).

The staff are hard-working and polite; the rules are well-intentioned. Yet, it still feels like the ordeal dial will turn up each time I go, and my next visit may somehow involve needing to defeat a video game villain in hand-to-hand combat for the right to purchase a pineapple that may or may not be in stock. [Imagine the little 8 bit video game victory song here, with a sad sound if there are no pineapples…]

I’m posting this perspective piece because I find it relatable:

I am doing okay, and I know how lucky I am to be able to keep myself well-supplied: I just hadn’t expected that needing fruit could ruin my day, that I would be rationing oranges in 2020 to avoid going outside, or that my blood pressure would creep upward whenever there’s only one banana left on the counter.

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