I Went ‘Non-Essential’ Shopping For the First Time Since March…
...and here's what it was like.
Full disclosure: I haven't left the house for anything other than essentials since early March. I've canceled trips and flights, worked from home and I wear a mask when I do go out. Yesterday, however, I needed a new pair of sneakers, and I wasn't particularly thrilled with my online options, so I decided to trek up to Birch Run Outlets.
First of all, check your favorite store's website before you visit; the hours for a lot of businesses are still not back to "normal" and, as of yesterday, the mall stores opened at 11 AM instead of 10 AM.
I wasn't going to store-hop and browse; I was on a mission for shoes, and I recommend this very highly. We're still not at a point where it's convenient to shop just for the sake of keeping busy; if you're going out for something, know what it is and have a plan.
I arrived at the Adidas Outlet around 11:30 AM. The had stanchions set up for lines but, at that time, I was the only one in line. The store was at capacity, so I waited less than maybe three minutes to get in. An associate was outside the front doors, in a mask, regulating the crowd.
Inside the store, there were distance markers on the floor, especially near the checkout counter to ensure social distancing. I was in and out of the store in less than 15 minutes; however, I could tell that a lot of people inside were shopping without a goal, and that made it difficult to social distance.
They had sneeze guards up at the counter and markings on the floor for where to stand while you wait. Overall, the staff was super professional and helpful.
If you want to go shopping for leisure, you can, but I don't recommend it. We're not there yet, whether you believe that or not. No, things are not going to be exactly how they were just yet. We'll get there but, until then, be patient and aware of others.
To quote Claire Fisher from Six Feet Under: