Shopping in the time of COVID-19

Shopping in the time of COVID-19

as posted in the Hamilton Spectator

"The chips were the first to go.

I knew they would be. I mean, come on. How could they not? But when standing in a grocery store, grabbing items you think you might need in the event you are quarantined for 14 days, I knew chips had to be on the list. I mean … right?

As I pushed my cart through the crowded grocery store aisles last Friday, I wondered whether or not I would eat canned foods, even if I had them on hand. After all, it was only a couple of months ago that I did a pantry purge, ridding myself of dusty cans of soups and chick peas with expiry dates from a time when the movie "Outbreak" was considered fantastical sci-fi horror and not reality driving down on us like an infected monkey on a banana. OK, maybe not quite that old. But close.

I looked down at my cart. My plan was to just buy regular groceries not Doomsday groceries. Why? I don't know. For the same reason I bought just a normal amount of toilet paper when I was running low the previous week, I guess. So, I had fresh chicken breasts (on sale!), a container of spinach/kale blend, fresh fruit, eggs. But as I watched the frenzied grabbing and piling up of non-perishables by customers all around me, I wondered if my approach was wrong.

It was the dairy counter that did it, though, that made me change my mind. When I looked at the plant-based milk and saw the unsweetened cashew milk was gone, my heart started to race. I only have half a container left at home, I thought. HOW WILL I LIGHTEN MY COFFEE?

(Side note: As a first-world society, we're really somethin' else, aren't we? Cause you know I wasn't the only one thinking that.)

I grabbed the second-to-last container of sweetened cashew milk, telling myself I'd make do for now. Exceptional times call for exceptional measures. But, as is the case with these things, sweetened cashew milk is a slippery slope into pasta. Pasta, which I tend to buy from time to time and rarely ever eat because if I'm carbing out, it's going to be baked goods, chips, chocolate, that sort of thing. Pasta is … just so much lower on the list, it barely ranks.

But I had already fallen prey to the consumer-pressure-madness that was happening all around me. The pasta section was practically bare, save for some ancient grains and super greens variations apparently no one wanted. Makes sense. But I grabbed them anyway because they were there and well, you know … peer pressure.

At this point, Doomsday shopping meant throwing all healthy diet considerations out the window. Because from there I swung around to the candy and snacks aisles, tossing bags of chips, hazelnut chocolate into my cart. Do I need a pumpkin cake? Probably. Those cookies and buns, too, but a person has to draw the line somewhere. I mean, I did buy extra cheese after all.

I stood in the longest line I've ever seen at a grocery store, opting for the self-serve cashes, betting on the fact that people would rather talk to cashiers about their massive grocery store purchases than not. I seemed to be right about that and the line moved swiftly.

And when I got home, I unpacked probably the biggest grocery store order I'd made in I can't remember how long. I sat down on the couch, flipped through my phone, glanced up at the bags of chips on top of the fridge. Yup, you're coming down.

The chips barely lasted the entire weekend. In my defense, they were regular-sized bags, not jumbo-sized bags, but still. If I am quarantined, I will ride it out, chipless. Again, exceptional times call for exceptional measures."


It's been nearly two weeks since the above article was published and the American public has gone from a shopping frenzy to a nearly complete standstill...

or has it?

we're  quite likely finding  ourselves shopping online more than ever before

But what are we actually buying apart from groceries???


what are you buying?

please share your thoughts with us 

Thank you





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