This past Saturday, 4/11/20, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and under “shelter at home” guidelines. We had to drop off my wife’s car for maintenance and went for a short drive. “I wonder what the crowds are like at Target and Home Depot,” I thought, and so we went to look.
There were families shopping at Target, which doesn’t seem like a good idea, and the same was true at Home Depot, where the parking lot wasn’t packed, but was a lot fuller than I expected.
Are all these shoppers buying essentials?
I want to go shopping at the local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores too – very much so – but it’s inadvisable and I’m trying to adhere to official guidelines and recommendations as best as possible.
The more people there are in the store, the greater the risk to everyone and to staff.
The big thing about the current coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is that some people are asymptomatic, and even those that do suffer from the illness can transmit it to others before they even know they’re sick.
COVID-19 cases are still rising, albeit at a slower rate than before. But if you’re in public, every person you encounter could be sick and could infect you. That’s the basis behind social distancing – the less close-contact we have with each other, the less the risk of transmission and infection.
Until recently, cloth masks were optional. Some stores are now allowed to kick people out for not wearing face masks, others are starting to let their workers wear masks.
When you have more people in a store, social distancing becomes harder. Carts and people create bottlenecks in aisles, especially if there are several shoppers in a group, such as couples or families with kids.
Given the current “stay at home!” and social distancing guidelines, families of 3, 4, or more don’t need to be out shopping at stores right now. That’s not just my opinion, I’m going by health officials’ advisement.
We’ve heard from workers who are under a lot of stressed, partially because stores can be understaffed. Many high-risk workers are staying home, and there are a greater number of sick call-outs in general.
I spoke with someone from Ace Hardware the other day, who said that they’re dealing with 150% more orders right now.
A lot of new hires are also no-shows.
So, according to what I’ve heard from some readers, there are fewer associates in stores right now. With the level of foot traffic they’re seeing, there’s more to do and fewer people to do it.
Some customers aren’t adhering to social distancing guidelines.
From what I read, some customers are acting like jerks towards employees who urge precautionary distancing, although hopefully these are isolated incidents.
Let’s look at that image again:
Looking at how many people were shopping at Home Depot over the weekend, you’d forget that there’s a global pandemic right now, with federal, state, county, and local recommendations to stay home and not visit stores except for essential needs.
A lot of people are adhering to these recommendations, but a lot of people aren’t, which is also why people are still getting sick.
In our town, there were 19 new cases in March, after they started tracking them on 3/14/20. There have been 37 new cases in April, as of 4/11/2020. Of these, there have been 5 deaths and 15 recoveries, for 36 active cases. People are getting sick after social distancing guidelines and shelter in place orders went into effect.
The garden center is busy, and I can understand why. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s changed policies on online ordering to where a lot of items are ONLY available for in-store purchasing. I don’t know what I’ll do about potting soil – maybe I’ll wait until guidelines ease up, or maybe the local garden center can do curbside pickup. Or, I’ll change my plans for this year a little bit – I ordered some supplies online and have enough for some of my vegetable container growing plans.
But it’s not just people flocking to the garden center – we’ve heard a LOT of reports about people being in the stores because they’re bored and the malls are closed. Associates are offering their assistance and some customers respond with “I’m just looking around,” which quite frankly isn’t appropriate right now.
Let’s say there was something I needed right now, and it was considered essential. I understand that some people might be single parents, or there are other reasons they have to bring their children with them, rather than leaving them at home with adult supervision. But why are couples bringing their kids to the store right now?
Fortunately, from where we were parked to take the photo, I saw that most people were walking solo in the parking lot, some with spouses waiting in the car. But there were also families and groups of people out shopping – at least one that I saw in the Home Depot parking lot, and at least two when we drove past the front of the nearby Target store.
For those that are out shopping, most were wearing masks, but some weren’t, despite current CDC recommendations.
How many people – customers or store associates – will get sick over the next two weeks because too many people couldn’t refrain from shopping at Home Depot last weekend?
It’s up to everyone to practice self-restraint and use their discretion. I’m a little upset because I’m adhering to official guidelines more strictly – I want to be out shopping too!
But, I suppose it’s up to store managers and corporate to adapt and create new rules if they feel that there are too many people in stores. Some stores have “one in, out out” policies, and now require face masks for entry. But would they restrict children if accompanied by more than one parent?
And please, no more “it’s a hoax,” or “it’s a government conspiracy,” or “it’s a media fabrication” comments. People are getting sick, overwhelming many hospitals, and dying. This isn’t make-believe.
Let me ask you – do you think there are too many shoppers at Home Depot and Lowe’s these days, or rather, are too many people not adhering to shelter at home except for essentials guidelines and recommendations?
It’s hard to judge what others deem essential, but “I’m just looking around” and store employees’ accounts of other such “just browsing” customers makes it pretty clear that not all shoppers are making essential purchases.
Yeah, in my area, Lowe’s was dead and HD was jumpin’ (they’re 200′ from each other). HD folks were cleaning/disenfecting the self serve stations after each customer.
Do you live in Bend Oregon?
My aunt & Uncle live there, my uncle used to be an employee for a few years.
I want to live in Bend OR ?
Totally agree with your observations and cautions. My wife is an EMS, stay home so she can too.
Board idiots. Idiots don’t take it seriously until some one they directly know rolls over dead… but hey, this years flower garden will look nice, so it ain’t all that bad.
Nothing worse then a bored idiot that is for sure. Amazing how stupid about 40% of the population is.
What 40% are you speaking about? Cut through the BS and just state what your trying to infer. I’ll wait.
Dave, he is not trying to infer anything. He is implying something. You are confusing the two. Also, you are confusing “your” with “you’re”.| Great Grandpa Moore always used to say, “There are more dumb people in the world than there are smart ones.” Thank you for proving him right.
Really? Please be kind to each other.
I think a lot of people right now are looking at doing some projects around the house. I know I am definitely in that boat. I am a bit frustrated with the $75 delivery fee for items to be delivered from my local store. Not sure why I can’t just order building supplies and have them delivered not from the local store. I guess they just aren’t setup for that yet.
Or some of us had real plumbing issues like leaking valves, old sillcock failed when getting hose hooked up, shower valves project now if replacing hot and cold shutoffs in basement, … geez now my “smart thermostat water sensor went offline”… make sure to get some AA & AAA batteries on hand. Never know what device will need them (kids and their Xbox controllers…).
There weren’t many in HD during weekday, but EVERY disinfectant in households aisle was gone. Only thing left was windex, dishwasher detergents and oxyclean. (I wore my mechanic’s nitriles and a mask BTW)
Funny, a HD staff I found told me they had a whole pallet arrive of Clorox bleach (I will make my own spray mix) and not out on the shelves to her surprise. On route to checkout (distance lines down), wouldn’t you know the pallet was the display! Nowhere near cleaning items! Glad I was able to get a gallon.
I thank the employees, and noticed some were labored breathing – I mean they wore dust masks for hours..that isn’t normal for someone not accustomed (like paint shops or doctors).
Recently put a toilet and sink into our unfinished basement to have it ready as a quarantine level. Spent more at HD than I would have at Fleet Farm but HD was taking distancing seriously, while at FF you’re face to face with a checkout person not wearing a mask.
HD is opening at 6AM here, and by going early in the AM you can beat the crowds.
We decided to do a house project since we’re at home with our 2 kids. Delivery from our store which is 2.5 miles away is $79 since I’m ordering molding. Submitted an order yesterday at 9:30 AM for pickup but I’m still waiting. I can only assume it will eventually get filled. My store is offering curbside pickup so you don’t even have to go in the store. As much as I would love to just go grab the stuff I figure it’s safer for everyone this way.
I did order some stuff from Home Depot to be shipped to avoid going to the store. Some of it took almost 2 weeks. Certainly hard to plan projects like this. I feel for the contractors.
Had to build a chicken coop for chickens we had already ordered. Since it was a semi-large order, and I wanted to avoid going somewhere for something that wasn’t “essential”, I decided the $80 was worth it.
I would have a hard time paying a large delivery fee for a very small amount of materials though.
Ideally they would ramp up staff and come up with some type of curb side delivery service.
However, my local home depot is having a hard enough time just keeping their normal staff at work. Between COVID 19 and allergy season, everyone is staying home out of an abundance of caution.
Maybe Home Depot should be asking people what they need before they go in? rather than just standing there up at the front of the line counting people, they could tell people whether they actually need to go in or not, or where things are.
This already happens in some stores, including store managers being the ones asking and advising to help facilitate a quick visit. The few who intend to make a quick purchase and be on their way are generally already aware of where to find what they want – this has always been true. But it’s still a ‘want’ and not a ‘need’ and it does nothing to mitigate the long line of people still waiting to get in because they’re stuck at home with no idea what else to do. Not to mention the fact that a significant portion of those waiting in line are irritable at being questioned as to why they are out or if it is a necessity.
Both the Lowe’s and HD that I’ve visited have taken things seriously. Home Depot a little more so with a queue outside and security guard in addition to employees at the entrance directing traffic of the queue.
Walmart on the other hand is a totally different story. While they did have a barrier setup to form a queue outside, it was not being used. Seems like they were not limiting people going in. It was crowded, there were lots of families, and hardly anyone was keeping their distance.
I personally think that they should close down stores that don’t adhere to some set of guidelines. Walmart isn’t critical if I can buy essentials somewhere else. All of the other grocery stores, Costco, Sams Club, etc. are taking this much more seriously. Some stores won’t let you in without a mask, limit the number of people in the store at any point in time, and limit to 2 shoppers (not entire families).
Walmart is 5 people for every 1,000 sq ft. The nearest Walmart to me is 222,000 sq ft that’s 1,110 people.
I have noticed a majority are wearing masks now at least. I am in Kansas so there are some stubborn people who think we are far away from the worst of it.
Long story short: Most people are idiots. Those of us who are not idiots will have stay isolated until the herd thins. Very sad that idiots tend to cause lots of collateral damage before they go.
Especially as factual information is easily available.
Not Twitter or Rupert Murdoch’s perpetual conspiracy tv network.
Presidential Cuomo’s Daily Briefings is our national present day FDR Fireside Chat.
And I live in Oregon.
Yeah it’s interesting how some leaders really step up during times of crisis. I felt the same way about Rudy Guilanni (sp?) after 9/11. Boy did my opinion of him change recently.
Stupid comment of the day! In fact so ignorant you may be able to ride it till the end of the month!
Sigh…I get enough politics elsewhere…why bring that here?
My sentiments exactly! People making half-ass comments off the cuff while they squat on the toilet to pee! Don’t need it and don’t want it here on Toolguyd. I will however state this editorial is political in nature so perhaps Stuart should have been more neutral on his editorial?
Hey, Dave. I’m curious why you feel Stuart’s post is being political? I’m not for or against either side or trying to stir the pot, I’m genuinely curious how you are viewing his post as being political in nature or how it would serve either side?
Replying to myself, sorry.
My comment was NOT political. If anyone thinks their particular political tribe does not have its same percentage of idiots should spend time in introspection.
I live about equidistant between 2 Home Depots I have not visited either of them in many weeks. Having been hunkered down (except for a run to the bank’s outdoor ATM and to the drug store drive through) – my wife and I have not been off our property since the first week in March. I’ve had a few calls from neighbors to ask if we wanted things – one this Saturday that offered to pick up stuff at HD – so I guess others are more out and about than we are. My village has less than 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – representing about 0.7% of the population. Our density is low – about 1.2 acres per resident – so one would not expect that we are a hot spot. But where the Home Depots are located the case-counts are more than 1 order of magnitude higher for smaller geographic areas. While I’m not saying that shopping at HD has resulted in this disparity – density and social contact probably has.
As far as delivery fees go (mine are all associated with groceries) – why not count our blessings that we have the money to buy stuff (for projects as well as groceries and other essentials.) Then we should just chalk up the delivery fees against the costs of things like dining out, movies, sporting events etc. that we are not doing right now.
I said it before – but also think it worth repeating: If you live in a hot-spot area where your local hospital and healthcare workers are being overwhelmed, it would be worth looking into ways you can help them out.
Sadly logic isn’t in oversupply. Let alone common sense. But you know this.
Stay safe. We need your overview.
I haven’t been to a store in a month. All the delivery fees and tips that I’ve spent so far has crossed my mind, but I also think I’m helping to keep a few people employed.
Went to menards last weekend and it was packed so I turned around and went back later and it was much better but still quite a few people there. I hit the small grocery stores now and thinking I better use the hardwarere vs home improvement stores
Thanks for this, Stuart. I haven’t been out to any store much at all in a few weeks. Here in small town Pennsylvania, the grocery store chain owned by Ahold (a Dutch company) has barriers, arrows through the store directing flow, and masks. The other more regional chain in the next town over is cleaning more often.
In local community Facebook groups, people were discussing the rules at first store, and someone “I found store x In the next town, where they’re not panicking over this crap!” Or something to that effect.
Granted that so far our rural community (as far as I’m aware) has escaped so far, the state capital is in the same county and has its share.
If people are determined to believe it’s all a democratic plot to undermine the president, as has been implied often in some quarters then they are going to continue to ignore rules and/or common sense. This is beyond any petty political agendas from anyone’s “side”.
I appreciate your observations here.
So long for “one nation under god”. It is concerning that people are unable to rally under a cause that is frankly non partisan : protecting ourselves.
In my opinion, the problem started at the top, with those who direct or influence public opinion. Politicians and the media are both responsible for making things political.
Amazing how something that should have no party lines, became political. I’m not for heavy handed government, but this is exactly the reason we have a government, but unfortunately it seems that most have their head in the sand to realize, and BOTH sides have used it as a political stunt.
I thought i was being an idiot by going to HD last weekend to buy some project materials that i cant buy online (no project was really critical to be honest) and i found out i was stepping into a store full of much bigger idiots. Whole families were in there – like with 3 teenage kids who could have stayed at home easily, buying a few small household items. Unless you are planning on buying large items, they shouldnt allow more than 1 person at a time.
I went to Home Depot on Saturday 4-11. The parking lot looked normal for the time and day. However there was a long line in front. The line was about half of the length of the building. They were allowing 125 people at a time. All entrance and exits were closed except one. Employees at the door were counting, one person out, one person in. In line people wrer respecting the six foot distance, and the line was moving well. Inside the store the checkout linex were marked every six foot. Employees wore masks and gloves as also many customers.
Everyone was respectful and had smiling faces.
Of course there is always a butt head to screw things up, and needs to be repremand!
Thank You to Home Depot, Great Job!
Maybe if everyone should wear a 12 foot diameter Hula Hoop?
I forgot to mention, I’m in Fort Worth Texas.
I have gone to HD and Lowes for supplies needed. The number of cars in the lot suggests far more people in the stores than I’ve actually seen.
I have gone once a week over the last month. I was surprised each time at the number of cars in the lot – but the inside of the stores was far more empty than our area supermarkets. Safe distancing seemed in practice when I was at both Lowes and HD.
Everyone is getting very worked up about Home Centers on social media and the news, but honestly people are getting supplies, staying away from each other and generally appear to be acting with safety in mind.
The HD closest to me in Massachusetts monitors and controls the number of people that can enter. Of course I have no idea what the “COVID-19 capacity” of a big box 200k ft^2 store is – but it seems to pass the eyeball test. There are no clusters of people, no lines with people close together. One way in, one way out, no cutting lines or sneaking in.
Supermarkets appear far more congested, at least in Southeastern MA. Of course my sample is very limited.
My two cents – meant to calm, not inflame.
I’m pleased that Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and a few others are nationally enforcing the 6’ rules and one in and one out logical safety rules. Plus training and equipping their staff to comply with best medical practice.
Even our Ace Hardware stores are taking call in orders and bringing everything out to our vehicles.
HD clearly has allowed their individual Managers* to do what ever the heck they want. Lowe’s appears no better.
*Managers are paid bonuses on sales goals being met and exceeded. A sure fire disaster in a pandemic with too obviously no national guidance.
What if you build up resistance to this virus through limited exposure? Then all the people that stayed sheltered in place didn’t build up any resistance, Then are easy targets when another wave comes(now talking another wave at summer’s end). Lots of unknowns about this virus, you may do everything according to guidelines, yet still end up with the virus somehow (perhaps through a piece of mail or a package). It’s a tragic situation, & I try not to judge leaders or individuals too harshly.
But that’s not how things work, although that’s kind of how vaccines work.
Officials don’t know why some people are infected but asymptomatic while others get so sick they require intensive care or even die.
If you don’t have antibodies, the body doesn’t have any defenses against a viral strain. Those who recover develop antibodies.
Basically, exposure = infection, as the virus will replicate unchallenged. Yes, antibodies will eventually develop, but there’s no way to predict or control who will develop mild symptoms and who will might develop serious conditions and even die.
Everything about this virus compounds into a nightmare for hospitals. The virus spreads unnoticed, some people get very sick, many unexpectedly (such as otherwise healthy people such as athletes), and those with serious symptoms require extensive treatment. Plus, the virus is super-contagious and so very strict PPE protocols must be followed.
All of these measures we’re taking right now are so that vulnerable people are protected, to minimize transmission since even healthy people are developing serious conditions and even dying, and to prevent the healthcare system from collapsing as best as possible.
Personally, I think that there were major missteps in how things were handled, but that’s hindsight for you. There will be time for politicians, officials, and the media to play the blame game later, and I’m sure they will.
That’s EXACTLY how virus’s work. “Shelter-in-place” the young and health who would otherwise build immunity and then when you ‘let them out’, an entire new wave appears. Ask ANY rural Veterinarian. You could ask an epidemiologist but they’re not always forthcoming.
So, a heavy-handed governor closes the family-ran, stand-alone garden centers as they’re not considered essential, but the Home Depot and Lowes are allowed to keep their garden centers open. The government is picking winners and losers. What a bunch of garbage.
Actually there’s another way to define “loser”. That’s someone who unnecessarily goes into a Lowes or Home Depot right now in populated areas. If it’s not an absolute emergency you should STAY HOME.
That’s the problem though – the virus is also affecting those that are young and healthy. A lot of young and healthy people live with more vulnerable folks.
Officials have already said that herd immunity would not be an effective strategy here.
Repeatedly this has been carefully stated. “We” have no natural immunity to each new Coronavirus as they sweep around the world. And will not likely ever.
So until a vaccine is developed in the next 1 to 2 years we are going to see this reappear in cycles.
Dr. Fauci and Gov. Cuomo are the best broadcast thought leaders we’ve got. Absent FDR and his Fireside Chats.
Everything else is a watered down version of reality.
Letting the herd all get sick at once or quickly was toyed with by the Brits – until they were informed about the predictions of hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths that might ensue. It sure might get it over quicker – but at what cost to those who die and those who remain.
My wife an I have visited what passed for Hospitals – built in the middle ages by guys like Chancellor Rolin – working for Philip the Good. They were places where many went to die – especially during plagues. The good sisters who cared for them often succumbed too. There was limited medical science back then – so no anguish over lack of PPE, inadequate ventilators etc. Back then death was a constant “fact of life” – and plagues devastated Europe. If it was something like smallpox – and you got deathly ill from it – but recovered – you were likely both physically and psychologically scarred for life. I don’t think we are ready or want to return to that sort of era.
If we let the disease run a swift course – put the ill out in tent-city field hospitals to either die or recover on their own – could the country ever back to normal? With what we are doing – it will be hard enough to get over the damage done to how we feel about things. Questions arise like when will most of us finally feel comfortable with: letting the kids go back to school or play with groups of friends; going to the movies; dining out in groups; attending conferences; visiting crowded amusement parks; taking a cruise or doing so many other things that we took fro granted before we ever heard about COVID-19? I’m afraid that some sectors of the economy may take years to come back if they ever do. But I’m optimistic that the American spirit will rise to the challenges ahead and find new and different opportunities to prosper.
What I would hope from our leaders is that they have the strength of character to admit mistakes (we all make them) and move on. We should be praying that our leaders have the ability to take advice and sort through conflicting ideas to make informed decisions (in the interest of the common good) as we move along the trajectory of this disease. History has not proven that the world’s troubles have been resolved by leaders (kings in Plato’s terms) all having become philosophers or vice versa as Plato would have had it. But the world has seen many instances where power and/or the desire to keep it has resulted in deleterious behaviors by those who wield it.
It may be easy to say that the Chinese Government should have been more open and honest – early on about the extent of the problem – but maybe they did not want to panic their population. It might be just as easy to criticize the WHO, UN, CDC, NIH and our own leaders for past actions over the last number of weeks – but some of that may have been tempered by lack of data and not wanting to overreact. Despite Einstein’s observations about the illusory nature of time – we will never be able to spin the world backwards to the winter of 2019 to try out different scenarios. What we can hope for now is that data an the best available science will inform decisions going forward.
Maybe after November we can get a handle on this. Not much hope until then.
My wife and I are both able to work from home (I normally work in an office, she normally splits her time between home and office). My office closed a little over a week after I stopped going in. Hers before then. We are entering our 5th week at home today. Being home, I constantly see all of the projects I want to work on – many of which I already have everything I need to do so. Other projects would require getting supplies.
But neither of us have any time to work on projects. I think that working full time AND taking care of an 8-month old might be affecting that. 🙂 There’s barely time (not really enough) for work and normal household stuff.
We took our kid out of daycare a week before people seemed to be caring about things around here. Our state has been doing a very good job officially, but why take chances?
I did place one order (for shipment) from HD for some wiremold conduit to help baby-proof our home office. I could have gone to the store to pick it up, but I really didn’t want to find out what the stores are like now. We are basically only going to the grocery store when necessary (and nowhere else). And only one of us goes.
Amazon didn’t have everything I needed and I wasn’t sure when delivery would occur anyway. So, I paid for shipping from HD. The conduit was drop-shipped from Wiremold and arrived in a few days.
We are thankful that we both still have jobs, are able to work from home, and we and our families are healthy. So many people are much worse off than we are. But we are definitely looking forward to daycare being open again (we’ll have to see when we are ready to send the kid back).
My wife and I are in a similar situation. Both working from home and we have a 1 year old and a 3 old staying at home with us. I completely understand not having the time for projects!
Only ignorant imbeciles ever thought this was a “hoax” to begin with. Unfortunately there’s a lot of people that march in lock-step with the biggest perpetrator of that mindset.
Now now. This is a Milwaukee v. Dewalt kinda site. Wera v. Felo. Etc. etc.
Not reason v. fact adverse “news”.
Who is the “biggest perpetrator of that mindset”?
What does this have to do with tools?
I had to go to Lowe’s the other day for garage door weather stripping and mouse traps. (We closed on a house at the start of the month, which means new projects. It’s been a crazy time to buy a house). Turns out, mice could get in the garage through the missing gap in the bottom piece. I’ve tried to order what I need for projects online and waiting, but once something started eating things, then it became essential. (I’m also immune comprised, so we haven’t gone anywhere we don’t have to).
But, while in Lowe’s, like many other comments, I saw those with masks that kept their distance and those who didn’t. And then there was a guy who came and stood directly in front of me to look at something! They did have signs up saying one person per household, which in general works, but the couple that parked next to me didn’t follow that. It seemed like a lot of cars, but it didn’t seem like as many people inside. I like someone’s comment about asking people what they need. Not even even to determine if it’s essential, but knowing that people might be less likely to browse and then providing a map to say here’s where item x,y,z is if they need help. I ended up downloaded the app just to find the isle/bay numbers to shorten my trip.
About 15 of 20 Home Depot staff had no masks today, scooting around like normal, and oblivious. Maskless greeters stood both sides of the sliding door to say, “Please keep 6 feet between customers,” but they barely allowed 6 feet for me to squeeze between them! It was difficult to navigate through the door, and difficult in almost every aisle.
If 300 customers were in the store, fully 50% had no mask although masks in public is ordered by County Health. I live south of Santa Cruz, a tourist town for Silicon Valley that’s normally packed Easter weekend, but beach access was closed to reduce crowd transmissions, and $1,000 fines warned most to stay home. A lot of people hollered online about civil rights, and a few were bellyaching about bringing their rifles —political venom that sees civic health as Genghis Khan tyranny.
I was a cooperative kid, lined up in the hall for polio shots, gave blood as a teenager, and I feel a kind of duty to my neighbors, but wow, nowadays it’s risky to decide what’s being gullible versus what’s being wise.
JR3 Home Performance
I experienced the same at my home depot. Thankfully in NY they just announced starting this Wednesday all essential employees still working will be required to wear masks.
Forgot to add one thing I heard several minutes ago on the car radio. It was Madeleine Albright saying “I have been asked to describe myself recently in six words. I say: worried optimist, problem-solver, grateful American.”
Sums up the character we expect from each other, and even if I’m being schmaltzy about it, the ethical high ground between us is important because I don’t want to go home carrying a killer infection. We oughta feel good about asking for cooperation in keeping us safe. It sure isn’t something I’m used to.
At our closest Lowe’s ( 2 in our city ) , people seem to be keeping some distance from others. Few of those shoppers have masks. If you go to our largest regional grocery chain ( Food City ), it is a mad house. There are literally hundreds of shoppers. The plexiglass shields are only marginally effective, as anyone knows aerosolized air moves the virus much farther than 6 feet. My wife and I had N95 masks before it got bad, and I have some knarly Lysol that comes in concentrate ( from a friend at the USDA ). It still feels creepy to see so many people clobbered up in such a small space ( Food City is roughly 50,000 square feet ). We get in and get out, without panicking. I work for a regional health system, and we have boxes of contaminated linens in our laundry ( where I drive a truck ) that have COVID-19 labeled on them to be destroyed. When you see and deal with this thing daily, it is sobering. Please be careful!
Count me among those people that’s fortunate enough to have a job (for now) during the week. Only time I have to get out is on the weekend. And there isn’t enough time to thinks about projects. I make one trip a week to the grocery store, that’s it. Even then I avoid peak hours and only patronize a store that is trying really hard to do the best things for their employees and the public. Unfortunately, that means lines outside, but that’s okay. If I’m at all uncomfortable (with the general public or the store and it’s employees), I’m not coming back until I get vaccinated or develop my own antibodies. Fortunately (or not) I live in a populated area where choices abound. I do worry a little more about people’s behavior after governments loosens restrictions. That may be worse than what we are seeing right now, but I hope my grocery store continues doing what they are doing or the delivery options loosen up once people venture out (it’s a great big pain in the butt trying to get a delivery window for most grocery stores).
The accounts presented here of the local home improvement stores is useful. It convinces me I want no part of it unless I can’t get something online in a timely fashion. So thank you all for sharing that.
At the end of the day, I may still get it. I’ll have to go back to the office some day (that’s necessary). But the longer I avoid it, the better the chances a hospital will be able to give me the standard of care I need, should it come to that. For now, I have the luxury of staying home most of the week. As for the rest who can’t seem to sit still in their house…I can’t control what they do, what’s the point in worrying about it.
Late to this discussion but I went yesterday to get paint and was told that Home Depot has sold more paint during this time than ever. They are out of certain Behr sheens nationwide.
Some people just don’t get it. They will however be the first one’s crying and complaining about things when they do get it. Very unfortunate for those doing there best.
I needed something, but drove by HD considering how packed the parking lot was. I went to Lowe’s this weekend for a couple boards I needed, but will likely not be going back. In their efforts to I guess limit the entrances the lumber register was closed, so I had to navigate the store into a mass of people with four 12′ 2×10’s to the regular registers and obviously got dirty looks as I’m completely blocking the main front aisle of the store with 12′ boards. If anything, I might try to purchase online first and see if they can just have it ready. What I’d love to occur would be that they started car service or at least just let you grab your order with limited contact. If they could have the scan and go thing like Sam’s where you ring yourself up on your phone and pay through your phone that would be ideal.
“Well, our family is bored from sitting around, so screw everyone; we’re going shopping!” Seriously. Are people that scared of being in the silence together? My wife and I can hang out in the same room and do our own thing inside for months if we wanted to. Why do people need to be out doing something all day, every day? Pick up a book. Learn a new subject. Organize. Do some crafting. Play a video game. Etc. If I weren’t an “essential” worker, I’d be in heaven right now being able to finish things around the house and catching up on my myriad of hobbies I’ve sampled. I have a backlog of video games I’d love to play that I haven’t had time for.
There are way too many people at HD and Lowes these days, and way too many of them aren’t taking this seriously at all. I had to go to Lowes early on to get a part to fix a leak (of course it started in a pandemic, couldn’t have in all the years earlier! ) and the whole event was a mess. Did the online pickup option and customers were all crowded around each other and generally being difficult, and employees weren’t trying to keep them apart much. I got my parts and left as quickly as I could. It was earlier in the pandemic, but not so early that our state wasn’t enforcing social distancing and other protocols. Lowes should have been doing more, they have the authority to make the changes needed in their store and other retailers with less foot traffic and sales are doing a better job.
On Sunday I had to get another part, so this time I went to HD and did the online pickup. Much better experience. They had barriers to control the flow, people where spaced out a little better, and my order was already in a shopping cart so I just had to roll it out to my truck. No contact whatsoever. Also, because I got there early, I could still smell they had disinfected the place.
My advice is to not go at all, order online and have it delivered if you can wait, or do the online pickup and go at off hours.
That’s what I did last night. Ordered some lawn fertilizers online for delivery for $9. (Used to be free over $45, but not anymore). What’s interesting is they had a delivery window available for today, tomorrow, Thursday, etc. The order was delivered around 1PM today. I wish getting groceries delivered was this easy!
Leave family at home, including the dogs. We had a couple in the store yesterday with a Great Dane on a 10 ft leash. Not the dog’s fault.
At HomeDepot yesterday An adult family of 5 was shopping and had their dog with a 8′ leash that wasn’t taught or shortened.
After the dog ran into me, i had some choice words with the owner. Poor dog has a stupid owner.
All of my local Home Depot’s are only allowing 100 people in the store at once, the lines outside are crazy long but inside the store people seem to be keeping their distance and most aren’t lingering. Most people are buying gardening stuff.
Schools are closed, people are either working from home, laid off, or told not to come into work.
I fit into the 3rd category right now. Yeah, I’m probably going to make a trip to HD or Lowe’s every once in a while because I have nothing else productive to do at the moment and have things I need to get done around the house that ordinarily would have to cram into a weekend.
I make a list of what I need. I wear a mask. I grab what I need and get out. Wife and son stay home. I sanitize my hands before I go in, and after I get out. In other words, I use common sense.
The HD I went to yesterday wasn’t very busy at all. I would have taken advantage of the curbside pickup (I was buying lumber and other building materials. except that it wasn’t made very clear online that it was an option.
The world has not stopped. Use your head and don’t live in fear.
The governors say “stay at home” and the people hear “stay at Home Depot.”
If in NJ. The picture must be Watchung Home Depot. 🙂
Yes, there are too many people at ALL the stores.
It should be easy to just go into a near-empty store that only has people just going in to grab some essentials and get out ASAP, but you have people waiting in long lines just to go in and shop for hours like it’s Black Friday.
There was a brief period after all the toilet paper was gone where people were scared enough to just stay at home. That has passed and now people are bored being at home, either alone or with whoever, so they go out and sit in a restaurant drive-thru line for hours to get food, go to the stores that are open to walk around in the A/C, then go home and watch fun stuff on TV for entertainment.
This isn’t being taken seriously enough at all, and the people who’s job it is to make people take it seriously aren’t doing their job.
Unfortunately for us, there’s no way for us to make them do their jobs.
That’s why we are where we are now.
All you can really do is only go out when you absolutely must, wear PPE, use disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, wash your hands, take a shower, and wait it out.
I’ve been to our Lowes and Home Depot a few times, and they’ve been quite busy. Interestingly, it’s been retail employees in various stores who seem to respect social distancing the least! I’m in a rural, less affected area, and just under half the customers in stores had been wearing masks.
I’ve gone for gardening supplies, which I’ve deemed essential. I get a lot of my food annually from my garden, and given the season, I don’t have the luxury of waiting. For non-essential hardware stuff, I’ve just opted for delivery.
FWIW, my Lowes also has curbside pickup, though I’m not sure about Home Depot.
my local Lowes and Home Depot are limiting the number of people in store. They would queue people up at entrance with one monitor at entrance and one at the exit. Well done
My local Harbor Freight also had a limit of 25 customers, which it was clearly under. I was surprised to see they had large Icon cabinet there as well.
This may be the new normal moving on. Social distance everywhere, Face covering when you are out. We will figure this out.
What irks me are those that don’t care about anyone except themselves. Protests, & people standing around next to each other and no face covering. With people like that we will be in this situation six months from now.
Glad to see people do no live in fear of the gov and its many planned crisis or plandemics event 201. Fauci already stated at Georgetown Trump would face a surprise virus. I’m always amazed how well Jesuit whores and the Simpsons predicts the future.
Went to Lowes this Saturday 4/25 to get a super toilet plunger to fix a clog. Lowes had brought in massive pallets of garden crap and filled close to 1/3 the parking lot with it condensing the parking to pretty much full capacity. The store had well over 100 people in it and 2/3 were women pushing a cart with a few pots of flowers in them literally wandering around just looking at things. Guys with spouses, they needed like a hole in the head, jamming the nut/bolt isle to where there was never 6 feet between anyone. People were literally shoulder to shoulder and new people coming and going every minute.
Ninety percent of the problem was the garden center which had way less than 10% food growing items yet was packed. It was all totally unnecessary landscaping and flowers people were buying. I saw two people with a mask and nobody with gloves including employees. Lowes wants all the bailout money and to make their Q2 numbers. Gross negligence was everywhere you looked.
In Florida … this past week … Home Depot & Lowes have been packed, very full parking lots, lines at the checkouts … roads are weekend like busy … not much of a rush hour but far more traffic and people out and about than one would expect under the circumstances.