Letter to the editor: Protect our grocery workers


As a grocery shopper and a retail consumer, I am not  comforted by the “appearance of normal” at grocery stores.

I do note that most retail and food service personnel have donned  latex gloves, but I truly wish  to see face masks on everyone who interacts with the public, from personnel who handle our produce items, to the cashiers that scan purchased items through the check out and payment for goods.

It is noted that many retailers are adding a few extra $ per hours, called “hazard pay” to their store personnel, at least  on a temporary basis. If it’s called “hazard pay,” this would indicate the harm that employees experience by continuing to do their jobs.

Logically,  protective gear would be issued to individuals working in situations that are considered “hazardous” right?

Yes the U-scan counters reduce the interactions between consumer and store employees.

Yes I can order groceries online from Amazon, but I ant to shop local…keep folks at my local stores like PCC  supported with purchases so their workers still have a paycheck.

I’ve observed “distancing measures” in place, tapes that mark out spacing on the floors of the checkout lines. Clerks  furiously spraying/cleaning all surfaces before the next customer is summoned to the kiosk.

Safeway and Costco stores have erected Plexiglas barriers between the consumer and the cashiers, but very few wear protective masks.

The “special hours” for patrons over 60… these are all great, but more is needed.

Please, please stores — update your policies and protect everyone, on both sides of the counter.

Store managers and corporate executives…get over the need for appearances. We are way past normal…

Kathy Passage

4 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Protect our grocery workers”

  1. That would be great in concept, but we have thousands of health care workers working directly with COVID positive patients and not enough masks to protect them. Grocers are doing an amazing job to protect their employees with the resources they have access to. Grocery workers are amazing and doing so much to keep customers happy.


  2. PCC is paying their store workers extra pay. The all are wearing gloves–cleaning carts-and there are circles on the floor to remind us of the 6ft safe distance. All are quiet–but they can’t keep their paper products in stock and pasta area looked pretty slim–but many other yummy items.


  3. My understanding is that masks are for folks who have the virus to keep it from spreading or to protect Health Care workers. Why would folks who are well wear them? All we need to do is keep our distance, not touch our faces and stay away from those with masks.


  4. I just saw a video of a conference call done by a New York City Dr. who works with Covid 19 patients everyday in a New York hospital. He said the two main ways to prevent getting the disease is to avoid being within less than six feet of anyone else unless you are wearing PPE (doctors and nurses), disinfecting and/or washing your hands and common things touched as often as possible and avoiding touching your face. If wearing a mask (any type of mask) helps you avoid touching your face, its a good idea to wear one. Think of your hands as the main carrier of the disease. If you practice these simple things you have at least a 90% chance of NOT catching the disease. Almost everyone who has caught the disease has spent at least 10 or 15 minutes or more in close proximity to someone who already has or will come down with it in the next 5 days or so. It’s way more apt to be passed person to person than object to person based on the most current information. The most dangerous action would be to touch a person who has the disease and then touch your own face. Sorry I got off the grocery store theme a bit, but it is applicable I think.


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