Yuck, grocery stores

I made it home from our grueling grocery shopping trip, which was made worse by all the road construction this year. It’s so much fun to get to the intersection you need to take to find it’s completely closed and you can’t get there that way, and then having to back-track and take a gravel road through farm country to get on track.

I also discovered a new class of person to detest: the woman who gets a grocery cart and a handful of disinfectant wipes, proceeds to carefully wipe it down, and then marches into the store without a mask. She takes the virus seriously enough to take care of herself, but not seriously enough to care about anyone else. I felt like sneezing on her.

Now I’m back, just in time to go in to the lab and get cracking on cleanup, spider maintenance, and more class prep. Oh boy, less than a month to go!


  1. whheydt says

    I’ve heard jokes that Chicago has two seasons: Road removal and snow repair.

  2. Matt G says

    The most recent study I’ve seen claims that fomite transmission (i.e., via surfaces) is a small proportion of transmissions. The vast majority are via droplets.

  3. Who Cares says

    @Autobot Silverwynde(#3):
    Masks do (slightly) lower your own risk of getting infected but the main reason that wearing a mask is recommended these days is to significantly lower the chance of you infecting others.

  4. Larry says

    Talk about cognitive dissonance. Why would one believe that sanitizing ones hands provides some level of protection but that wearing a mask is worthless?

  5. says

    @4 it also appears how much you inhale matters, which is terrifying. A little? Mild case. A lot? Hospital or worse.

    Great. Now I never want to leave the house. :(

  6. hemidactylus says

    I note the irony when I see an unmasked covidiot using hand sanitizer. You don’t breathe through your hands.

    On the other extreme I see people wearing gloves on occasion. I don’t see the point. If I go somewhere public I use sanitizer in my car afterward. I do don gloves at the gas station and bank drive through though. And remove them after deed and use sanitizer. These are brief infrequent acts.

  7. Jazzlet says

    Gloves are a far smoother surface than your hands, so are easier to clean effectively – try washing gloved hands and then drying them to see what I mean, drying is almost instantaneous. My local supermarket has sanitiser at the end of each aisle and asks customers to use it after they have handled any food, with gloves on I use less than I would without gloves on, plus the gloves remind me not to touch anything I don’t have to, but especially not my face.

  8. gorobei says

    I swear, 2% of NYC women seem to be Karens.
    1% refuse to wear masks, and insist on walking down the middle of sidewalks because “it’s ancient rights” or something.
    The other 1% seem to have invented their own science, and stop and yell at people because they are sitting outside 12 feet away and eating a sandwich or whatever.

  9. hemidactylus says

    @8- Jazzlet
    If people want to wear gloves more power to them. I’m unsure whether bare hands or gloves are a better situation outside working in a health care environment where chances of coming in contact with COVID particles would be much higher. Aren’t there enzymes on skin that would work at neutralizing COVID? I can’t see gloves providing much benefit. I use plenty of hand sanitizer frequently and moisturize at night.

    For me wearing gloves all day is impractical, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. I am in a public environment most of the day where the risk is growing by the week in Florida which has ramped up big time. IMO the main entries are nostrils, mouth and eyes, so I wear a mask and eye protective glasses. I also wear these at the supermarket. Publix just made masks mandatory for all and other businesses are hopefully jumping on the bandwagon.


    I only wear gloves at the gas pump and bank drive through.There’s an ick impulse at the gas pump I don’t get elsewhere. But after carefully removing the gloves I use alcohol.

    And I wipe my phone case with alcohol after my return home from threat environment shower. Then I drink beer to numb my anxious brain and hope this COVID shit goes away without infecting and killing (or disabling) me.

  10. chris61 says

    @10 hemidactylus
    I use the gloves, slathered with hand sanitizer or straight 70% ethanol to wipe things down. Carts or handles on items I have to pick up in stores, door knobs at work etc.

  11. says

    Went to the grocery store too this morning. Colorado issued a mask mandate and Walmart a mandatory mask order starting today.

    It was so nice to see everyone with a mask. Before maybe 30-40%.

    There is a lot to detest out there for sure.

    Now were are hearing people say masks nationwide and 4-6 weeks we can get this under control.

    That’s always been the case.

    So tired of the stupid.

  12. hemidactylus says

    @11- chris61
    I wear gloves when disinfecting surfaces with TB Quat, but aside from the ick of wiping keyboards and mice I don’t want nasty germicides in direct contact with my skin. As a barrier gloves seem to offer protection. Maybe they would shield from effects of applied ethanol that seriously dries my skin. But as a surface are gloves much better than skin? Which in itself is harsher on COVID? How long does COVID last on various glove materials versus skin? And is the point moot if you wash hands often enough and avoid touching your face? Is either bare skin or glove material better or worse with regards to surface transfer? In the long term which is more annoying or irritating? Dried or cracked skin is no picnic. But neither is sweaty hands inside gloves you gotta periodically change. And putting gloves on slightly moist hands is a very obnoxious task. Not fun. Neither is hand sanitizer entering a cut.

  13. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Generally, there is not much difference in perseverance of substances on skin versus gloves, but surface area and permeability of skin versus gloves is night and day (especially if you have dry, cracked skin).

    I had been using heavy duty disposable nitrile gloves from harbor freight for work because of leaded solder, some super nasty solder flux, and various alcohols, but sadly haven’t been in that habit for a while. Thinner gloves would constantly tear, but the heaviest ones could be reused for a week or more depending on how well I manage to not cut myself with anything. Always much easier to thoroughly clean gloved hands than bare hands, in addition to just feeling less nasty touching things outside your control/cleaning. With my dry skin and constantly sweating palms, I sometimes end up losing at least one layer of dead skin as little rolled up pieces inside the gloves as it just sort of sheds off from the moisture and abrasion. Fortunately that is not every day and still leaves skin in much better condition than washing with soap and/or alcohol several times an hour for several consecutive hours.

    As for Publix, they may have given up in Georgia. They had been disinfecting carts and baskets for customers, and had stickers on the floors to direct traffic one-way down alternating aisles. The stickers had disappeared a couple times for a day or so before being replaced with new ones, but today there was nothing except a simple “Masks on, please” sign at the entrance. Athens had spent weeks in lockdown which had heavily limited the spread among locals, but the “I’m bored” dipshits elsewhere in the state/region kept it spreading elsewhere and now we are getting hit worse than ever before.

  14. brucegee1962 says

    I went shopping here in Virginia today, and pretty close to 100% had masks on. Of course this is a college town.
    Recently we had to drive down to North Carolina, and the dropoff in mask-wearing when we crossed the border was substantial.

  15. Who Cares says

    Just keep in mind that wearing masks is something that is easily stopped just like any other protective measure once it looks like the worst is over.
    When they removed the lockdown here we’d had something like 3 cases/day/million (or 2000 cases/day with the population equivalent of the US). They managed to keep that for four weeks then it started ticking up slowly. It is hitting 9 cases/day/million for a 7 days rolling average next week.

    The problem being that most people still think it is over and thus not using protective measures. So yeah I kind of stand out these days if I go outside since I do wear a mask even though I don’t think I’ve the virus.

  16. R. L. Foster says

    I wipe down the shopping cart handles with an OCD-like intensity. I understand all of the pros and cons, but in the end it just makes me feel better. As for masks, we were using some old n95s left over from when I stripped and sanded my back deck a couple of summers ago. After three months they were becoming tattered and trail worn so I ordered a pair of nifty, 2-layer denim masks from Brave Star Selvedge. They’re efficient and look cool, too. We’re now adding face shields to our ensemble. With the unbearable heat I found that I was nearly suffocating when I’d spend any time outside and the shields are acceptable in a shopping setting. My wife is planning to use hers for teaching next month.

  17. blf says

    With the exception of MattP@14 (and apologies if I’ve inadvertently overlooked anyone else), no-one has specified what type of “gloves” they are talking about. Whilst some types can be ruled out simply because they are absurd (in the context of providing Covid-19 / SARS-CoV-2 protection), e.g., bicycling gloves, the type(s?) being talked about seem perhaps a bit less obvious than is apparently assumed.