The day after…

Thursday, 2 July 2020

I’m so confused about what day it is. These holidays in the middle of the week should be banned. All holidays should fall on a Monday. Just kidding, but wouldn’t it be nice?!

We’re having my sister-in-law over Friday for dinner to celebrate her birthday. I thought I had four days to prepare. Ha. Joke is on me. Tomorrow is Friday!

This COVID-19 isolation/hibernation is screwing with my memory. I really must find a way to differentiate between the days. I know I said this before, but it bears repeating. I need to keep reminding myself. I think I need to do something like Holland America does on its ships:

“Thursday” written on a carpet on the MS Koningsdam ship elevator. ©WQuinn 2020

We went to Gatineau this morning to run a few errands. Errands that took us into several stores. I was flabbergasted at the differences in safety protocols.

Canadian Tire: We started at Canadian Tire. I was concerned by the amount of cars in the parking lot, the people coming and going and no line up to enter, but we decided to give it a go. Two large bottles of hand sanitizer greeted us outside the entrance. Hands sanitized, we entered the store where we were greeted by an employee. I went straight for the carts, Mom found a roll of disposable towels and hand sanitizer. She rubbed down the handle of the cart. There were no arrows on the floor to guide us. We were on our own and it was a free-for-all. People everywhere. Lots of them. There didn’t seem to be a limit to how many people were allowed in the store at the same time. Everywhere you turned, you bumped into someone. We wore face masks. Most people I met didn’t. I eventually had to take it off because I found I was becoming ill with it on for long periods of time. Both of us had enough and made our way to the line up, which snaked through the store. There were dots on the floor indicating 2 metres apart, but the line turned down the wrong aisle where there were no dots. The dots didn’t seem to work though as people mostly ignored them, at least the woman ahead of me and the two men behind me. I did notice more people wearing masks as I was in line and had time to people watch, but the majority were not. It is not mandatory in QC to wear masks indoors, or anywhere for that matter. All in all, I found Canadian Tire to be way too relaxed with social distancing measures.

Canadian Tire parking lot.
Photo of the day, 2 Jul 2020 ©WQuinn

Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ): Next was the SAQ. We drove by a couple stores that had long lines, one had at least 15 people and decided on the SAQ on Montée Paiement. A man arrived a few seconds before us so we only had to wait a minute or two before we were welcomed into the store. There was an employee who explained the process…wash your hands with sanitizer, carts were mandatory (and he washed it down for us), one person in an aisle (we were considered one unit but had to stay together). It was like playing a game…I want to go to that aisle but someone is already there. How can I position myself to be the next in line to get there. We found everything we wanted then checked out. The SAQ was by far one of the best experiences I have had during this entire COVID pandemic.

SAQ had our favourite wine (Voga – Italy) in stock so we stocked up on it and Bailys. I don’t plan on visiting another SAQ for sometime…maybe for a Christmas run? ©WQuinn 2020

Dollarama and IGA: Next came Dollarama for me and IGA for Mom. Dollarama first: A spray bottle was waiting for me as I arrived, although it wasn’t full, I did manage to get a little out of it. I didn’t notice the arrows on the floor indicating which way to enter an aisle until I had gone down a couple of aisles the wrong way! Leave it to me! It wasn’t overly busy. The sign on the door indicated 40 people were allowed in the store at the same time. There may have been 10 or so. The cashes had plexiglass between the cashier and the customer and the cashiers were wearing face shields. It was an OK experience but I wonder if they have staff to monitor how many people are coming in and keeping the hand sanitizer container full.

Mom said the IGA experience was amazing. A store employee advised hand sanitizing was a must, then offered a cart which they just cleaned. The employee was monitoring the number of people in the store and stopped people from entering until someone exited. I think she mentioned arrows on the floor.

SAQ and IGA were clear winners and we will be back!

Yellow wildflowers. Just because we could all use a little yellow in our lives! 😉