‘Can you move out of the way?’ Everyone in the store stopped what they were doing, looked up. It was the first voice I’d heard in 20 minutes.’: Woman details ‘awkward’ shopping experience during pandemic, ‘This has changed us’

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“‘Can you move out of the way so I can walk by you?’

When the lady said that, not to me, but to another woman, everyone stopped what they were doing and looked up.

It was like one of those moments you watch on television when the music abruptly stops and everyone turns and stares.

People looked up from staring down at their carts. Suddenly I could see people’s eyes. Almost all had masks on. A few had gloves on. One person even had goggles on. Impressive.

I suddenly realized that woman’s voice was the first voice I had heard in the store and I had been there 20 minutes. Isn’t that strange? There were no couples. No one shopping together. No one was leisurely strolling around Target with a cup of Starbucks in hand. Not today.

We all waited. Would this be one of those Jerry Springer moments? Nope. The woman moved. The other woman walked by. An estimated 6 feet in between them.

It was awkward though. Really awkward.

We all immediately put our eyes back down. Kept our distance. And went on with our shopping for Easter basket treats and essentials.

This social distancing is strange. While it’s 100% ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY, necessary, it feels weird.

No one chitchatting. No one smiling. People waiting until a stranger leaves an aisle to enter.

Little stickers on the floor telling me where to stand…like I’m in kindergarten at circle time.

I keep thinking how strange people are? I bet they think the same about me.

Masks make me feel uncomfortable. Nervous even. Are they sick? Do they think I’m sick? Are we all going to get sick? Do these masks even really do anything?

Was that a cough? I swear I just heard a cough? Yup. Glare. She should not be out in public right now? Unless she just had something in her throat. Geez. Who am I? The dry throat police? Crap, I just coughed.

And I cannot, not touch my face. I don’t know how. I try. But then I get an itch. And then I internally scold myself for touching my face.

This has changed us. Does anyone else feel that way? I wonder if we will ever go back to normal.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by KT Swenson. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from KT:

‘I whipped around fast. ‘You leave him ALONE.’ He covered his ears, flapping his arms. The man snickered under his breath.’: 70-year-old woman thanks special needs mom for opening her eyes to autism, ‘You taught me patience and kindness’

‘No shoes, I ran through the security gate, tripping as I searched for the family. ‘You did an amazing job, dude.’ It was like we’d known each other for years.’: Mom to son with autism urges ‘look for your people’

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