Lindsay describes the experience of running a store during the pandemic as “a roller coaster.”
“At first, it was pretty scary,” she says. “I couldn’t just hide out at home. I had to go to work.”
She recalls washing groceries when she got home and even washing her shoes before going inside. “We didn’t know much about the virus then,” she explains.
Lindsay now has a positive outlook about the experience and feels the pandemic “brought the community closer in one way.”
She considers the pandemic to be “a big eye-opener. We didn’t know how good we had it before. Maybe if there was no pandemic, we would still all be busy going out and not appreciating what we have.”
The business and workers adapted in many ways. At first, the store offered home delivery to people who weren’t comfortable coming to the store. Staff got in the habit of sanitizing surfaces constantly (and still clean door handles, gas pumps and other common surfaces at least every two hours).
The store became less of a community hub. People were making coffee at home rather than coming to the store to have coffee and chat with their friends. Lindsay was scared to bring her daughters into the store. But the situation has slowly improved.
“People are coming back to the store now. A lot of people are feeling safer.” She says that the store isn’t too different from the way it was two years ago.
“But the main problem is enforcing rules because people are just getting sick of how long this is dragging on,” she adds.
Rather than being discouraged, Lindsay puts a positive spin on this. She explains that the other customers in the store stood up for the staff and told the man that the workers didn’t deserve to be hassled. The clerk and other customers explained that the mask mandate was the law, not a choice of the store.
“It’s nice to see you have support,” she says, adding that “99% of the customers are great and do what they can.”
After going through this experience, Lindsay says she has become more grateful for what she has.
She describes the pandemic as an opportunity for people to have more time to work on self-growth and to help others.
She values “every moment because you don’t get them back.” This is most meaningful when she talks about time with her daughters.
“The pandemic taught me to appreciate what we need - and realize what we don’t need. All you need is family, food and air. When you go back to the basics of life,” she adds, “it’s a lot more fun. You enjoy everything more.”