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Be nice to the hard working people in your supermarket. Compliment them. Don’t ever blame them for not having that one special thing you think you need. They work hard. At the frontline. To keep us all fed and alive. Thank them.

@jwildeboer And for the ones who cough into their hands and then handle your food or other purchases, but understanding if/when you encourage them to embrace stricter standards of hygiene.

@ColinTheMathmo I have never seen that happen. Over here in Munich they all wear gloves, use disinfectant and are responsible.

@jwildeboer I've not seen it here in the UK, but I've had friends in the USA abandon a full shopping trolley due to the mis-handling by the person at the check-out.

An abundance of caution, but warranted in these times.

@ColinTheMathmo No. that’s just plain stupidity. Abandoning a full trolley with mostly sealed products is just crazy.

@jwildeboer Some of it was food that was not pre-wrapped, some of it was food in mesh, all of it was going to be taken into a house with immunocompromised people, and had just had a person of unknown status cough into their hands, then handle their goods.

I've run the numbers about expected levels of infection, and I really don't think it is crazy.

@ColinTheMathmo I don’t understand. This is a story told to you by friends or where you there too and saw the content of the trolley? And would you agree that this story is a rather rare exception?

@jwildeboer I replied, but have gone back to fact check, and need to revise what I wrote. The truth is actually slightly more damning, and I'll post it again now that I've check.

But firstly, yes, seeing staff cough or sneeze into their hands is very likely very rare. But again, having said that, here are some things ...

@jwildeboer With regards the abandonment of a trolley of produce, it was not done by my friends, but they saw it happen as they were in the store and just starting their shopping. Then having seen it happen, they left.

I personally have been in a store with check-out staff using unprotected hands, handling all the goods as they swiped it past the laser, and I can't help but wonder when they last washed their hands. This is in the UK.

@jwildeboer I have also seen supermarket staff restocking shelves, and then coughing openly into the air. These might be rare, I've seen it happen.

When I wander in the supermarket I speculate on who has coughed in the vicinity, who has handle the cans, and more. I have no control over that, & it's a complete unknown.

Our plan now is to purchase sealed items, and when we get them home to spray them with a soap mist or disinfectant and leave them sit for a few hours. Then we'll rinse them off.

@jwildeboer I've seen things that worry me, and it will only get worse.

You said:

"Over here in Munich they all wear gloves, use disinfectant and are responsible."

But in a supermarket, do you trust *every* other shopper not to cough in the direction of the items you might then handle?

Perhaps my precautions are over-kill, perhaps in a few weeks or months people will laugh at me.

@jwildeboer
Then again, maybe this is justified. The consequences of being insufficiently cautious are potentially catastrophic for me and my elderly loved ones.

@jwildeboer YES EXACTLY. thank you.

I figure, treat this like just before the holidays.

They're stressed and confused. We're stressed and confused.

Be kind to one another.

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