Stores shouldn’t fall back into old habits post-COVID

Johanna Selmeczy

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been obvious changes in the health and cleaning standards at grocery stores. These changes such as cleaning carts and registers should have been in place all along. Realizing that people didn’t partake in these important health measures all of a year ago is quite strange. 

For example, after leaving a store and getting in the car, people immediately douse their hands in hand sanitizer. We now have to wear masks and remain a distance of six feet apart at all times in a store. It’s definitely been eye-opening to see how much has changed in the past year and how important it is to live up to improved safety standards. 

Disinfecting Carts

When shopping at a grocery store a year ago, the average person would rarely take advantage of the sanitizing wipes found in select stores. Nowadays, a worker’s entire day could be dedicated to cleaning the carts after they’ve been used, and some still customers take it upon themselves to re-clean it. 

The fact that this wasn’t happening a year ago is truly disgusting. The amount of people that touch the carts day in and day out without them being cleaned is shocking. Cleaning the carts and baskets at grocery stores should be an expectation we uphold after the pandemic is over. I can’t imagine going into a store now and not using a clean cart or at least having a more accessible option to clean it myself. 

Sanitizing Registers

Now, cleaning registers after every purchase is a bit excessive, but if we again look back at a year ago, no one would’ve thought to wipe down the card reader or the areas touched during a transaction. Think of how many people touch the buttons and screen on a card reader every day at your average grocery store. Even thinking of money… certain stores have stopped accepting cash. 

Now think about how little it was being cleaned prior to COVID-19. Again, this doesn’t need to be done after every purchase, but at least a few times an hour would be nice for the future when this pandemic is a thing of the past. 

Plexiglass Dividers

As someone who works in customer service and has a plexiglass divider at my register, I love it. Thinking of someone being so close to my face, breathing near me, and possibly spitting while talking makes my skin crawl.

I truly believe they’re a great investment for stores and should stay up after the pandemic. They could easily prevent the spread of not just COVID, but many other contagious viruses. 

It’s no doubt that our standards for hygiene have drastically increased in the past 10 months. These health measures may have been implemented due to necessity, but why not keep some of them now that we’ve seen we can do better? Our standards for cleanliness and sanitation in public places have increased, and these standards need to be upheld.

Morgan James

Morgan is a writer and senior at Conant. This is her fourth year on the Crier. Outside of school she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, and discovering new Netflix shows and podcasts.

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