August 13, 2020

My New Shopping Normal

I'm done with Walmart. My shopping "experience" there is no longer conducive to even entering the building. Sure, we live in unusual times which call for unusual measures. And yes, I'm willing to comply with reasonable measures, but Walmart's list of "musts" has gotten too long and too overreaching.
  • You must social distance.
  • You must enter aisles from one direction only.
  • You must be surveilled while you shop.
  • You must be video taped while you check out. 
  • You must wear a mask.
  • You must enter the store single file and be inspected for compliance before entry.
  • You must pay with a debit, credit, or Walmart gift card.
  • You must stack your groceries just so on the check-out conveyor belt. 

Now please, DO NOT rush to the comments to try to convince me how necessary these rules are. Or how stupid, selfish, and unpatriotic I'm being because I question the sanity of what's going on. No, I'm not in "denial;" yes, I get that people don't want to get sick. But I also get that we, the public, are being played. Especially, now that the data (the real data, not the stuff they report on the "news") doesn't support what's being pushed on us. I'm more than willing to take reasonable measures, but we're really pushing the envelope lately. It's almost like those in power are playing a game—"Ha, ha, what can we get them to do next?"

However, that's not the purpose of this post, and I'm not interested in discussing any of that in the comments. The purpose of this post is to examine something I've said in the past: that so much of what I do is out of habit, rather than reason. My Walmart experience is simply a vehicle to push me away from habit and toward my own new normal.

When it comes to shopping, I have a routine. I have a route. That routine has become so automatic, that I almost don't need a grocery list. I know what I buy, and where, and I don't really need to think about it. Changing the routine, however, requires changing my habits. It requires that I think about it. I had to ask myself, what do I get at Walmart that I can't get anywhere else? Nothing really, and I actually buy very little there. I got into the Walmart habit because they supposedly have a good selection and the best prices. But do they really?

Selection everywhere has dropped off. I'm not talking about shortages from panic buying, I'm just talking about choices in general. Part of that has been the switch to more online ordering with free pickup. Stores like it because they don't have to put out as much inventory. Now, with so many people having been forced out of work that manufacturing is understandably down. All those things add up to a smaller selection for the buying public.

Best prices? I don't know about you, but I've been noticing for quite awhile now that Walmart does not have the best prices. Like other frugal shoppers, I know the prices for the things I buy, and there is actually very little that Walmart has the best price for. Prescriptions? People seem to accept it as "common knowledge" that Walmart has the best prescription prices. Something I've always done, however, has been to shop around before getting any prescription filled. I call local pharmacies and ask for the price on what I need. You know who always has the best price? Walgreens. This has been consistently true over two decades and three states. I suggest you do the same because there can be a huge variance in prescription prices depending on where you buy.

As I rethink my new shopping normal, I have to ask myself if we really need everything we buy. One of my long stated goals is to become less dependent on the consumer system. Ideally, that would mean producing for ourselves what we don't want to buy. Realistically, it means learning to live a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle. It means rethinking our needs versus our wants. It means learning how to live without. Whether or not we can be successful at that depends on how content we can learn to be.

My alternative could be to use Walmart's online ordering and drive-up pickup service. But to be honest, I really don't want to support what they've become. I'd rather support smaller local businesses who may be struggling to keep going. I'd rather support people than a corporation. For me, I think that will be a better new shopping normal.

My New Shopping Normal © August 2020

52 comments:

LEfting said...

If it saves one life, it's worth it, I think. And we are not being "played". Not at all.

Gorges Smythe said...

Pay no attention to to mindless fellow above. He's already dead and doesn't even know it. I would never enter Walmart again except my wife LOVES the place. I don't wear a mask, I don't follow arrows and I don't worry too much about social distancing. Sadly, my wife will keep going until they do away with the last regular checkout.

Vicki said...

If I have to be inspected before entering a store then what they can inspect is my back as I walk away, never to return. We are absolutely being played. It is all about control. I am one of those at risk due to age and health issues. But that is my responsibility and I do not expect others to change the way they live to accommodate me. Give me a friendly Mom and Pop store any day of the week. They usually have some common sense as opposed to soulless corporations.

Leigh said...

LEfting, do you have any idea of how mindless that sounds? But if you enjoy playing the game, go for it!

Gorges, that's tough, but I get your decision. Something I've noticed about so-called social distancing, is that the ones who ignore it are the folks wearing the masks.

Vicki, you've hit the nail on the head. I think lack of common sense is the biggest reason people are so easily duped these days.

Tewshooz said...

Absolutely we are being played! I think your reasoning is spot on and I would never shop at a store that has these rules. Where I live nobody wears a mask, even at the grocery store. The mask is a muzzle. Besides, the numbers are from the govt...who fact checks them? I order a lot online and have it delivered to my door, too. But not from Walmart!

DianeOart said...

I'm not shopping at Walmart since last February and as long they will keep the dance going they won't see me there, I won't wear a mask as I can't breath with one and it makes my nose running. I go to a mom and pop store for my grocery. I'm not going to accept Bill's vaccine.

Annie in Ocala said...

If that is happening here I won't be going there again... I only shop there 5-6x a year anyhow an can get things elsewhere. I use cash and save plastic for long distance orders. We are absolutely being played. I know some folks have gotten sick an some died from it but most had compromised health and/or living in concentrated conditions. It's all about politics imo. I've gone to work throughout this whole travesty an interact with others daily and know of no one that has gotten it. Even those who get tested regularly for their job.

Leigh said...

Tewshooz, the counting of cases and deaths has been a real fiasco. Hard to believe that in the days of computers and calculators, there would be so many miscounts, errors, and corrections. And the manner in which they've been reported is useless. Does nothing to build confidence in the "experts."

Diane, I'm guessing they assume they'll be the one and only official government store in United Socialist America.

Annie, way back at the beginning, the response to this particular virus surprised me. I didn't (and still don't) get why this one got people in such a tizzy, as opposed to the others we've had over the years. I understand why it's been politicized, but beyond that, the number of people that are truly terrified puzzles me. Even more puzzling is that the fear persists, even though it hasn't turned out to be as bad as the doomsayers were predicting. We truly live in strange times.

Ulvmor said...

Here, across the pond, in probably most socialistic countries (without actually being socialist - that's Scandinavia to you) we have none of that. We might have recommendation to wear a mask (but if you can't, then that's ok, too), but not a must (unless you're mcAfee and wearing women's thongs as a mask). We can go shopping without one, we can use cash if the shop accepts cash (though because many shops and services didn't accept cash even before this covid-thing; we don't use checks at all, most banks are web/mobile only (you can't get cash from a bank! you have to use atm). It's card, contactless pay and mobile pay these days anyway, it's only maybe a little more popular now.
There's markings on the floor near tills as remainders to keep social distance, there's hand sanitizers everywhere, play areas are closed but shop wc's are open. There's polite recommendation that people from high risk groups would go shopping in the early hour of opening times, and others to do their shopping later.
We have very low numbers of cases (let's not talk about Sweden now) and our death rate is lower than average.
But collecting data in this information era is difficult. Everyone have different systems in use, and those systems don't talk to each other. Numbers have to be transferred by hand, and that makes errors happen - it's not only possible to make errors, it's inevitable.
Doomsayers predicted grim future, and that's why many restrictions are in use; that's why situation around the globe isn't as bad as it could be. If you take measures to restrain the virus, it doesn't spread so easily.

Maria Zannini said...

Played is the right word.

We wear masks, but only because it's required in my state.

We also had covid in January. Not only are we in that vulnerable age group, but we have preexisting conditions which according to the media meant covid should have killed us on sight. LOL.

We treated it like the flu. Sipped water all day. Gargled to keep any secondary bacterial infections from starting. Slept when we could. In my case I slept in a semi sitting position so the drainage could move freely and not get caught in my throat.

2 weeks and we were fine. I'm only glad we got it before the hysteria.

Some people do die, but 80,000 people died in the US of the plain old flu during the winter of 2017 and they didn't get any headlines.

https://www.statnews.com/2018/09/26/cdc-us-flu-deaths-winter/

Retired Knitter said...

I hold a different opinion from you and most of your readers on this topic so I will pass on making my opinion the only right one - and just say "Hi!" Cheers.

Kathy said...

AMEN to SUPPORTING LOCAL businesses and PEOPLE over corporations. The big conglomerates dictate what they'll pay producers of products in order to have those "low" prices. This all ties into our "throw away" society. (Buy cheap, toss, buy more.) I prefer to buy local whenever possible and ALWAYS look at labels and buy AMERICAN MADE over items made elsewhere. Yes, I know we're a global community but if you've lost your job to offshoring to a country your employer can pay half as much... then you might think twice about supporting another country over your own when you purchase something. I 100% agree with your comments about habits and having to examine our habits and priorities. Grow your own, buy local, support small businesses/people. Thank you, Leigh!

Leigh said...

Ulvmor, interesting comment, thank you for giving us a peek at what's going on in another part of the world. Good point about stats.

Maria, so glad to hear you recovered so well.

RT, the only one who can decide the best course of action for you, is you! I suspect that if this wasn't an election year and if so many people didn't hate Trump, the virus would have been handled much differently. In my opinion, politicizing it was a huge mistake because it's only created division. Crises can never be solved by driving wedges between people; we have to work together to initiate real solutions. As it stands now, it's all about being "right." The current political shenanigans pretty much negate the narrative that it's about safety and saving lives, especially now that the data doesn't support the measures being forced on folks. However, I do notice that what people believe is pretty much tied to their news sources. Broaden the sources and a more holistic picture emerges.

Leigh said...

Kathy, that's something I've always believed in, so I'm almost ashamed to admit I've patronized a number of big box stores. I think it's more crucial than ever now, because the closing of small businesses hurts a lot of folks. It's a shame that "saving even one life" doesn't include those who can't pay their bills, can't put food on the table, have lost their insurance, have lost hope, and are on the verge of becoming homeless. Don't those lives count too?

Unknown said...

Leigh, I have been a visitor to your blog for many years but this is my first comment. I absolutely agree with you about all of this panic. Like you I gave up on Walmart and moved all of my in person purchases to local shops and stores. I think America will be a better place after the panic and pandemic have taken their toll - it has opened our eyes to the world around us and our mutual need for more self reliance.

SmartAlex said...

I'm with you on the WalMart. I too have a strict shopping routine and don't like having to relearn behaviors. I'm in Western NY and we have been under restrictions for a long time so we're used to it all. But WalMart is creepy. I have to remind myself that they are dealing with a wider range of socio-economic groups than say the high end gourmet grocery store is, but still... I will probably continue to sneak in in the early morning hours about every two months just to pick up bulk items. There are still a few things that I can only get at WalMart. But anything I can get from the good grocery store or online I'm already going that route.

Mama Pea said...

As your usual posts, thoughts and writing always is, very astute. We don't have to be dolts or unthinking robots. We still have the time and opportunity to change our habits and ways of thinking and return to being more self-responsible. You go, girl. There are many of us right with you.

Leigh said...

Unknown, thank you so much for commenting! I appreciate that. And I love your optimism. We truly need a sense of hope nowadays.

SmartAlex, I'd venture to say that the implementation of the "rules" and the tone of the individual Walmarts is set by their management. When ours first enforced the mask requirement, they had a handwritten sign taped to the entry table stating that masks were required by law. Well, our state, county, and city are not under any such mandates, and indeed, mandates are not law, they're just mandates. The next week the sign was down, but it gave me a glimpse of the mindset at that particular store. It might have been ignorance, or someone might have thought a lie would convince people to comply; I don't know except that neither is a flattering conclusion. In the end, we each must make the best decisions for our own circumstances. As with all of life, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Faith said...

I've had time to re evalute my shopping routine as well. I would agree that this is a dog and pony show as well to see what we can be trained to do going forward. My shopping has been changed as to where and how I shop. I've become more of supporter of mom and pop stores verses big box anything. Less shopping is less stuff. When I do purchase something it must have some useful/functional purpose, and online is now the preference.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I think part of what's so insulting about all of this is that we ordinary folk are being treated like we're stupid. Like we all want to get sick, so they have to tell us what to do and how to do it. Either that, or it's about control. Neither conclusion is very heartening.

Leigh said...

Faith, good for you. This is exactly what intelligent people should be doing, and I'm sorry it took me so long to do my own self-examination. I agree that thoughtful shopping is definitely wiser shopping!

Retired Knitter said...

Gosh, I hate to do this, but I feel I must respond to your response to me.

My opinion is based on more than just news feeds and politics - which I agree drives most of the conversation. I have read about this virus from a broad spectrum of resources sources. Because this virus doesn't behave "like the flu" and because we don't have the herd immunity like the flu, and because we still don't know everything we need to know about it - it is/can be a dangerous (more dangerous) virus than the flu which we are all familiar with. My daughter-in-law has a doctorate in Biology - is working in the Bio-tech field - has broad access to many scientific opinions and she says - this virus is to be taken very seriously. I believe her. I believe science. Maybe Walmart practices have taken it to the ridiculous level (I will agree to that). But I am not inclined to be influenced by the person who had a mild case and states "well I had it and it was no big deal." Or the older person I overheard telling another person in a recent lab visit, "So you didn't die from it, right, so it is no big deal." That young person shared he had the virus months ago and was still trying to recover. (Can you imagine saying that to a complete stranger who is still struggling with after effects? Some people are just rude.). Some are left with health issues long after the fact. Remember we still don't know why some can walk around looking perfectly healthy and test positive and infect others who may die. We are still learning. We don't even know what we don't know.

While I don't agree with your opinion or that of some of your readers, I will not characterize those opinions with any negative talk. I am just stating where my opinion comes from. You are right. Each person must make a decision for themselves. I choose to err on the side of caution for myself and for my family.

This Covid-19 is a hot button issue. You began your post with a statement about not wanting your reader ship to rush to comments to try to convince you how necessary these rules are. Maybe turning off the comments to this particular post would have been a better choice. I have done that when I just wanted to express my own opinion and didn't want a discussion about opposing points to be expressed. We live in a very polarized society and we sometimes forget that our positions on various issues are formed by our experiences. Respect for another point of view has been lost, I fear. But I do respect your point of view and hope that with time, science will discover the "middle ground" between us regarding this virus and we can all peacefully step away from this topic.

So I'll stop and step off my soap-box and not check back on this post - because I know I am out numbered here. :-). But I did want to express why I feel differently and I hope others respect that as well.

Ed said...

Welcome to the club! I quit Walmart over two decades ago but not for any of those reasons. I quit Walmart for the devastation they were creating among the small mom and pop stores which always had better service. People think I’m weird when I tell them I never shop at Walmart and never have problems buying the things I need elsewhere.

Leigh said...

RT, you're right. I was presumptive to make any implications about your personal decision making process. My apologies for that.

Ed, that's the most important reason, really. I think the events of 2020 are highlighting that fact. I hope it's a wake-up call for more folks than just me.

OffHerRocker said...

You’re 100% correct. Anyone that believes the numbers on the news is being played. I can’t even shop most places because I can’t wear a mask. I have to pay for delivery or curbside instead. It’s awful and I’m done with it. We will raise our food here and buy from local farms

Goatldi said...

I will simply say this much. Is there a virus yes coronaviruses have been around since Jesus was a boy. Does it deserve to be treated with mass hysteria and total growing control by both federal and state governments no.

I have my personal opinion I have my vet tech opinion ad I do have a degree in science and by the way medicine is not science because it doesn’t operate the same way a lot of medical practices are developed from practice practice practice.

If people would simply take care of their own and be responsible for their actions and follow what your mama taught you wash your hands stay home when you’re sick this probably wouldn’t be what it is at this point.

However it is and that’s where there are other components to what’s going on today other than a virus being used to cover up what actually is happening which means it was opportunist. I don’t believe in conspiracy theory‘s but I do believe in what I see. And when I go to a store and the sweet checker looks at me and says would you mind if I don’t give you your two cents back in your change and just your five dollars because there’s a coin shortage I smiled at her and I said yes I do and you darn well better find those two pennies somewhere sweetheart. (By the way Leigh this transaction happen at the company that spurred your post). And this is happened to me twice . One could say “what’s the big deal what is Two cents?”
Not a lot but if this happens, let’s pretend here, two hundred times a day . Now it isn’t two cents but $40multiple that by 7 days you get $280 multiple by 30 days $8,400.00 And for doing nothing . Image the ramifications of increased income in a big box store such as Walmart. The total “free” income is staggering. All while small business across our country are losing income at best and in many cases not surviving to open again.

But I will to do is what my son does I am carrying small change small bills and using cash and if they don’t like it I don’t buy it and I’ll go someplace else because there’s somebody who will do what I need.

My accountant tells me it’s basically a drive to eliminate cash as legal currency yes or no her opinion or fact I don’t know but I think anything is possible.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it .
I do as I’ve done for most of my life I stayed home and take care of my animals and garden.
I go out when I want to and I come home when I
don’t want to be out and I don’t watch the news .
not because I want to be ignorant but because I’m tired because of the stupid. I like my days to end with pleasure and start with pleasure .
everybody is entitled to their own opinion this isn’t about right or wrong this is about divide and conquer .
so you are welcome to your opinion and I will listen and yes just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we can’t be friends trite but true.

Lady Locust said...

I agree with you Leigh. Among other things, we are being forced into a cashless society so I have been making a point to pay with cash and patronize local small businesses.
On the political topic and across the board I believe in personal responsibility! I am responsible for housing myself. I am not (should not be) responsible for housing others. I am responsible for my own financial state. I am not (should not be) responsible for the financial decisions of others. And likewise, I am responsible for my own health. I am not responsible for the health of others. I do not expect anybody else to guard my health. If you are afraid of cooties, stay home. Don't expect me to.

tpals said...

Interesting comments. Personally, I paid attention in January when the first reports came out of China. I don't go inside stores at all. This is why I prep. I disinfect everything I buy through curbside pickup (never Walmart) and delivery. If circumstance forces me inside a building I wear a real N95 mask and keep my distance.

I despise politicians and disdain journalists. But, I suspected this could be deadly serious long before any of them noticed it was happening. I will not be swayed by the opinions of others. If I or my parents catch it then I have failed.

Leigh said...

OffHerRocker, hello and welcome! I've never tried the curbside and delivery services and didn't realize they were so bad. I'm sorry to hear it for your sake, but really like your alternative solutions. Double thumbs up!

Goatldi, you know, India did something similar with their small currency several years ago. The difference was that they flat out said it was the first step in switching to a digital economy. The thing is, if we all hand over our exact change and they opt to not put it back into circulation, then there truly will be a coin shortage. So I'm with you on getting your change back. I'd also tell people to keep an eye on their receipts. Some stores (Kroger is one, I believe) now adds a "change shortage" fee whether you pay with cash or card.

I'm also with you on the difference between medicine and science. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have worked in both hospital and a doctors office. There was a huge discrepancy between what I learned (textbook theory and science) and what was being practiced. In the office, I learned that the majority of treatments are driven by drug reps and the latest pharmaceuticals they're selling. And all of it backed by science whether it worked or not! It's all about profits.

Lady Locust, I agree. Yet, we have a large number of people who think it is their right to be taken care of by others. I can't help but wonder where we went wrong as a society.

Tpals, your comment points out something very important. That we should have the confidence to act on our own conclusions and not require agreement or approval from others. It seems to me that people who try to bully or coerce others to agree with them have a deep down doubt about what they believe. I'm not saying I'm right about that, but I think it's kinda obvious to most of us that some opinions are based on emotion alone, rather than reason.

kay saylor said...

While I totally disagree with your reasons, if not shopping at Walmart means you will support more local businesses then go for it. The real enemy is not each other, but the large corporations that limit choices, drive wages down and buy influence.

wyomingheart said...

Wow, Leigh!,, Hot button issue that most folks won’t talk about! I am in total agreement with the overreaching of government and corporate pushing. We are on the ridge because we were influenced by the desire to become more self sufficient and wanted to be much more rural for our future. We were very much influenced by folks like you, who shared the struggles and successes of being and becoming more self sufficient. We are in a position where we rarely go to the box stores, as there are a lot of small businesses in our tiny town. These mom and pop stores are living with the mandates that our governor stated, requiring a face mask for all who enter their stores. I feel like this virus was a problem, but in our state, the numbers are simply not adding up to the panic driven mandates! Please allow those who feel fear of the virus to make decisions on what to do to protect themselves, and vice versa. It will be interesting to see how many mandates are put on us by the month of December. Do I think this is politically motivated? Absolutely! Meanwhile... the garden is keeping me tied to the kitchen, and the shelves are filling in the pantry, and we pray for our health, and our families and our resolve as a nation. Thanks for letting us talk about our differences and providing us with momentary soap boxes! Yer the best, Leigh!

Shawneen said...

I haven't been in a Walmart in over 10 years. I have witnessed too many small business close; too many families scrambling to save the cornerstone of their small communities. I have found I spend less while supporting our local shops. Furthermore, Walmart sells an inferior product for a lower price.

As you said, your post is to foster a discussion of our shopping routines, not the covid mandates. So in this window, I agree that we need to be conscious where we shop and who our dollars support. The small communities and their businesses are the catalysts that helped our country prosper. It is now imperative that we support them in this uncharted time in history.

J.L. Murphey said...

I gave up on Wally World decades ago. The only thing I shop for there is meats and Depends (Walmart knock offs) because they are cheaper there. I do like their free pick up though or home delivery.

As far as the virus goes, it turns out that my roommate had it back in February. I was exposed to it and have the antibodies. But there's no telling some people. I rarely wear a mask and haven't been harassed by it. I do wear a mask in doctor office and hospitals though. There's all kinds of creepy crawlies there more deadly than the virus.

Leigh said...

Kay, sorry, I'm puzzled as why you think I'm talking about enemies (real or otherwise), or how you think they factor into evaluating and changing my shopping habits. I'm honestly stumped as to how to respond to your comment. Even though you don't agree with me, I agree with you that large corporations limit choices, drive wages down, and buy influence. Personally, I don't see that as a good thing and I'm glad for the motivation to change, so yes, I'll definitely "go for it."

Wyomingheart, I thought I warded off any hot buttons, but it appears I stepped in it anyway. I thought I was owning this as my personal opinions and personal conclusions, but apparently I'm not coming off that way!

Shawneen, the other one is shopping malls, which is another version of the same thing. They have destroyed so many small towns and the sense of community that goes along with them. All the small towns where I grew up became like ghost towns once the mall opened.

Jo, I feel like I'm late to the party!, lol. Walmart does carry a few items that I think are good deals, but I'm sure I'll survive.

Interesting that you were exposed to the virus and probably didn't know about it. Something that amazes me, is that nobody is talking about building a strong immune system to deal with it the way our bodies were designed to. When we started hearing about coronavirus, that was the first thing that popped into my mind - building my immune system. We hear about "herd immunity" (like we're a bunch of cows, lol), but all measures being taken run away from that. I think that's what's prolonging the presence of the virus and that we should focus on building our immune responses. Instead, masks are seen as the magic bullet. That being said, I do wear a mask when appropriate, but I'm also aware they cause their own set of health issues, so the best policy is to avoid situations where one might be needed.

Kris O.B. said...

Wow. I was going to comment on Walmart and your other posts, but this is just another place people make everything about politics and not about a farm at all. I am crushed. I was so excited to find someone who is looking at drying their own goat plants for minerals, who is growing figs and doing other cool things.

Most political ideology comes from emotional reactions and an intense need to conform. Farming is about experiential knowledge, experimenting, and sharing ideas. Politics is messy and dirty in all the wrong ways, whereas farming is dirty in all the right ones. Why would you turn a perfectly lovely blog about farming into another political blog?

Respectfully yours,
Kris

Leigh said...

Kris, why are you assuming that I'm turning my blog into "just another place where people make everything about politics?" In fact, you'll recall that my plea in the post was to not make it about politics. If you've actually looked at my blog and read my posts, then you know that your conclusion is incorrect. Your comment suggests that you've jumped to your assumption based on ???? One paragraph in a blog post?

Learning to grow less dependent on the consumer system is part of my journey and the fact that current politics is pushing me in that direction is my experience. My experience. Obviously, some people don't like me saying that, but it is my experience. Mine. It's my blog, so I'm allowed to say that. If you've actually read my blog, then you'd know where I'm really coming from. If you haven't, then you don't.

It would be great if we could live in a world where politics left us alone, but sadly, that isn't the case.

wyomingheart said...

Excellent and well said, Leigh!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

I totally hear you! I've never been a fan of Walmart with the way they've treated their employees. I go to Walmart maybe once or twice a year since there are plenty of other places where I can go. I think sometimes just getting something cheap is not the best investment long-term for our market and Society. They're all the small businesses that Walmart put out of business , and then in some cases Walmart left the area . While we ont really go out for meals very often right now the only ones we are going to our small local restaurants and cafes. I work in the medical industry and I can tell you that there is a lot of very questionable data going on here. I could go on but I won't bother at this point suffice to say I'm not buying into this after hearing what doctors are saying in my organization. I think this is part of a bigger picture when you see currency being eliminated, travel being restricted Etc. The time to use a lot of critical thinking skills and not just believe what mass media is trying to feed us all. Great post!

Renee Nefe said...

Our state started off with the arrows on the floor stuff, but no one was paying any attention so they quit. We are supposed to be social distancing, but the store insists on blocking the aisles with displays making it impossible to not get into someone's bubble. Even though numbers are down in our state, the governor mandated everyone to wear a mask in a building. So for some reason that eludes me, our Walmart & Target have only one door open (fire codes anyone?) At least at the Walmart there is someone stationed at the door to make sure you have a mask on...however, apparently it isn't really mandatory as I followed a guy in who said something and got in w/o a mask (the door person offered him a mask that he refused.) The Target had no one manning the door so who knows why we have to all enter just the one door. Then there is the much bigger issue...folks not wearing their masks properly. I cannot tell you how many folks are wearing their masks under their nose or even just on their chin.
I have switched to buying many of the items that I used to get at Walmart at my grocery store...the prices aren't all that much different. Unfortunately there are a few items that I can't get elsewhere...yet. I am working on trying to find other sources. Unfortunately there are not a lot of "local" shops in my town. But I am trying.

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, thanks! We live in strange times.

Nancy, you bring up a good point. I'm in a constant mental dilemma over the buying cheap issue. Flooding our market with cheap goods manufactured elsewhere doesn't help ordinary folk put food on the table or clothes on their kids back. Yet, I'm one of those folks on "fixed income" so there aren't many dollars to stretch, and so the issue becomes a question of what am I willing to do without. Lots of people are in my boat. If buying cheap $10 shoes means I can still put food on the table, then that's preferable to buying $100 shoes and going hungry. My personal answer (FWIW) is returning to small local based economies centered on locally provided goods and services, and a return to valuing the local community.

I agree with your assessment of a bigger picture. Unfortunately, we humans are living examples of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Renee, the inconsistencies between the mandates and reality are real head-scratchers. Walmart's set-up of recent months also violates handicap laws, which no one seems to be pointing out. Another thing I've noticed about the mask issue, is that the primary folks who violate social distancing are the mask wearers! Some of them are really pushy about it.

I agree that Walmart's prices really aren't that great. I think decades ago they used to be, but now, if all I save is a couple of cents on an item, so what?

J.L. Murphey said...

Leigh, Mel got it and they didn't know what it was at the time. They sent her home with an upper respiratory treatment and told her to rest and stay in bed. I've always keep immune boosters in our diet and on the shelf in our pantry (herbals like golden seal, echinacea, clover and other goodies). We rarely even catch a cold.

Her fever was never above 102. Her cough was wicked almost like whooping cough, but her airway wasn't seriously compromised. What really surprised me is the her low air stamina continues now months later. I'm thinking there was permanent damage to her lungs. She won't go back to the doctors.

I was given the antibodies test because I was dealing with cancer and possibly been exposed and am in the high risk category. I had surgery the week before 19 cases ended up in the hospital with it. I tested positive to the antibodies. So working backwards, we figured that was what was wrong with her. I can't afford the $1200 test out of pocket to have her tested (no insurance). My test was covered 100% by Medicare and my supplement.

As for my exposure, low grade fever, a nagging cough that lasted three week, and a general unwell feeling. I was lucky, but then I was drinking my white clover tea to alleviate symptoms too. This virus is so different in every case. I firmly believe that our regime of healthier eating and being away from the city played a big part in our "light" brush with this virus.

Judy said...

I hear you and agree with you 100 percent. I hate Walmart never shop there. It's over priced. They want you to believe it's cheaper with the way they keep the stores and ugly carts they never service. Look around they are way more expensive than many other places including target.Great post.

Leigh said...

Jo, all's well that ends well. I'm glad it wasn't worse. I wholeheartedly agree with staying in the best health we can and boosting our immune systems. I'm not saying one will never get sick, but I think if we do, our bodies are better able to manage the disease.

Judy, it's true, they never seem to service those carts! LOL. I have to say again, that I'm glad current circumstances pushed me to rethink why I was going there and why I needed to change.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, I cannot actually think of the last time I went into a Wal Mart- or a Target, for that matter. Any number of reasons - large crowds, not great service, not really anything I needed there In fact, my "shopping" has been reduced to the grocery store of choice, an occasional stop at the pet store, the used book store (of course) - and that is really it. There really is not that much I need out there.

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :)) I fully agree with what you've written. ALL of it. We are creatures of habit. Walmart DOES NOT have the best prices or selection anymore, maybe they did years ago and it was worth it, but not now. Actually I had my "done with wally-world" moment last time I went shopping for a bra. I was not allowed to try it on and if I bought it, I couldn't return it. So I convinced the manager (thankfully a female) to let me try it on over my clothes. Crazy huh? I was lucky it fit when I got home or I'd have been stuck with it. What's a gal to do? I have been rethinking my (our) grocery needs a lot lately because the selection everywhere just plain sucks. I'm trying to get back into the mind-frame of simplicity and making everything I can from scratch. Hard to do when you're so busy, but I think it's essential. Great post. :)

Leigh said...

TB, if I had been smart, I would have quit them long before now. Besides (as others have pointed out) how it destroys local businesses, the attitude at ours has gotten really bad. That was really my last straw. I do find that the less I shop the less I spend! And that's a good thing. :)

Rain, that sucks! Why would anyone want to risk buying something that might not fit and couldn't be returned?

I'm thinking you and Alex are probably farther from shopping resources in your new home(?) Another good reason to rethink habits.

Rain said...

I know Leigh...but honestly I was a little desperate for some "support" lol! We are definitely farther from shopping resources here, but honestly, living a rural life is worth the long drives to get places to shop! It really is putting many things into proper perspective though!

Leigh said...

Rain, you gotta do what you gotta do!

It's always interesting how circumstances affect perspective and one's routines. And that points to the reality of no one-size-fits-all in the choices we must make. Of course, as you get your gardens and home food production established, that will help with the amount of driving you need to do now. But I agree, living a rural life is worth it!

Mrs Shoes said...

We used to stop at Walmart specifically for dogfood and milkbones in the largest possible quantities (the "king' in King German Shepherd refers to how much he can put away and how much output results, lol); it was out of my way to go there, but I also believed the Walmart prices were lowest. Except, sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. I was gobsmacked by the checkout price, the clerk told me she's been working there years and never shops there - she advised I try Real Canadian Wholesale Club for way better deals. That's all I needed to hear....... goodbye Walmart, been nice knowing you.
p.s. LOVING that keyhole garden; it's looking SO good!

Leigh said...

Mrs. Shoes! So good to hear from you! Are you blogging again?

I agree about Walmart prices. In fact, I used to find a check price scanner in the store for anything I was uncertain of. Sometimes the shelf price said one thing, but it scanned at a higher price. I think that was the beginning of the erosion of my trust. I'm glad you found a good alternative.

The keyhole garden is wonderful. Hoping to build another one this winter!

JustGail said...

I don't mind wearing a mask, then again when you make your own masks, you can custom fit them. When I see so many with smushed noses and ears pulled forward it's no wonder people wear them improperly or not at all. But I wear one not so much to avoid getting the virus, but to keep from spreading it if I am asymptomatic. Yes the messages on effectiveness of masks has faffed about over the months, but so has so much of what is known of the virus itself. And then there are the countries where mask wearing is already common for influenza or pollution and how much lower their infection rates are. Then we see so many gatherings in the US with no masks or distancing followed shortly by an increase in infections.

What I don't understand is the local grocery store employees not wearing masks (floor/deli workers or checkers), a small plexiglass shield at checkouts, and usually no wipes for carts available - yet we cannot use our reusable insulated bags. I'm tired of things thawing on the drive home. And when are they going to start taking back all those damned plastic bags we are stuck with now?!??!?

WM and prices - maybe they used to have best prices on most things, but now - not always. Sometimes I wonder if paying $1 more a jar for mayo at the grocery is so bad given how little we use if I'm not making lots of salads. Where I do save at WM vs the local grocery is frozen breakfast bowls, and Dove chocolates. Or did - I haven't needed to buy those for a few weeks now... As to those arrows on the floor - I confess I'm usually focused on my list and the shelves that I often don't see them. But if an item is 3 feet the "wrong way" down an aisle, I will not walk all the way around, especially on days my hip is giving me fits.

Leigh said...

JustGail, I agree with you about the arrows, lol. Especially, since everyone pretty much ignores them.

When the pandemic first started, very little was known about this virus, so precautions and guidelines were trying to protect against all possibilities. Now, thanks to extensive testing and months of worldwide data collection, a more realistic, factual picture is forming. The guidelines have actually been updated to reflect that, but few people seem willing to change. I think that's just how it is with us humans; we tend to accept the first presentation of something new and we hang on to that, even after more data and experience is gained to give us a clearer picture and more functional basis for guidelines.