Shopping

Yesterday evening, I realised that I might not have sufficient food for my doggies for the planned lockdown period of two weeks, plus some reserve in case that time frame gets prolonged. I can get away on very little food, in the worst case I start fasting, which I know I can do for three of four weeks, based on my experience. But the dogs might not be overly happy with this kind of dietary regime.

So this morning I headed down to the supermarket, one hour ahead of its time of opening. There were already ten or so people in line in front of the entrance. Oh well. I joined the queue.1 I had foreseen some waiting time and had brought my earphones with me, so I could listen to podcasts whiling away my waiting time.

The shop has set up a strict procedure. Only twenty customers inside at any given time. That was to be expected. I had seen this before, when people were queuing in front of smaller shops such as pharmacies.

The surprise was inside, when I saw how they had protected their cashiers – see picture above. If you put yourself into the shoes of a cashier, who will see and handle dozens of customers before their shift is over, you have to admit immediately that this set-up looks like a good idea. It’s taking the health risks and concerns for the employees seriously.2 But in addition it also sends a clear message to all customers: this shit is serious! Which might influence their behaviour in a way more comprehensive manner, also after shopping, outside the shop, at home.

Kudos to the supermarket owners and managers.


  1. When exiting, I met Perrine waiting outside in the queue. She’s the diving instructor at “my” dive center. I had a quick chat with her, and realised, ayooooo, yes, true, no diving either in lockdown! You can see Perrine in action in this video. ↩︎

  2. As my friend Gabi pointed out, you could argue that the cashiers should not sit so close to each other. She’s right. Given the architecture, you could only achieve this by using only every other cashier station, one per booth, which probably would be sufficient, given the mere twenty customers in the shop. ↩︎