Stores Required Customers to Give Each Other Spacing in Line

Line of people socially distanced waiting to check out in a grocery store
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Line of people socially distanced waiting to check out in a grocery store

Another great protocol that was implemented during the pandemic that was the six-foot rule in the checkout lanes. It made people show a little respect for the other people in the line as they waited.

Prior to the pandemic, there were some people who had absolutely no concept of other people’s personal space. When someone checks out, they unload the 50+ items from their cart onto the conveyor belt. The ones who are ultra-conscience will then take one of those little plastic dividers and place it down behind their items. This is meant as a marker to separate items for the cashier, who isn’t paying close attention to which customer is trying to buy the Oreos.

It was NEVER meant as an open invitation to the next customer behind them in line to come up within six inches and start unloading their items up on the belt as well. These people act like if they can just get their items on the belt, it will somehow make the whole process go faster.  Here is a very special note to that specific customer:

Hey lady, I sure hope you found all your items ok. Listen, the cashier can only scan items so fast, and she is busting her butt. You are three back in line. Just chill out, you will get your turn. The aisle sign is still illuminated—she’s not going on break. The person ahead of you does not want your breathing down their neck. Are you feeling anxious? Relax. Just turn your head, there is so much to see while you wait. Why does M&Ms make so many varieties, like Nut Brownie? Who is asking for that flavor? Yuck. What the hell did Prince Harry get himself into with this Meghan Markle psycho? Yeeesh. Is the line between breath mint and candy becoming dangerously blurred with all these fruity flavors? Hmmm...

The six-foot rule put an end to this behavior. Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s and many others started asking customers to give each other six feet in the checkout lanes. They even put stickers down on the floor to show people exactly where six feet was, because God knows people are not good at math or judging distance. The markers were a way to keep their customers comfortable. Many are still on the floors today and here’s hoping that they stick around forever.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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