After withdrawing a little cash I walked around the store, keeping my distance from other shoppers (and that bloody robot) for their safety and mine.
Toilet paper and towels, sold out. Cat food, sold out. Chicken, meat, pork...all sold out. They are getting regular deliveries, it’s just a little hard to keep up with the demand.
So I stopped at the Pioneer at 91st Street and Jamaica Avenue and their shelves were pretty well stocked. I went into one of the corner bodegas and they had milk, bread, eggs, cat food and more.
Over the years, I’ve heard people complain “Do we really need another corner bodega?” This crisis, as well as all the blizzards from years past, shows that the answer is yes, yes and yes.
Those who can’t make it down to Atlantic Avenue can always walk a few blocks to Jamaica Avenue and find a store.
The other day I walked to the avenue and bought my lottery tickets (how aggravating would it be to win Cash For Life during an apocalypse?), and hit the liquor store for essentials.
I grabbed soup from The Avenue Diner and a milkshake from McDonald’s, all within a five-minute walk from my front door.
For a lot of people in this neighborhood that’s been a lifesaver thus far. Imagine where we would be if these stores were to close.
We need to keep these stores alive during this crisis, because if they begin to close we’ll be in real trouble.
It can’t be said enough times: shop locally, shop locally, shop locally. Our businesses have been a savior to this community, do everything you can to keep them alive.
And while you’re shopping locally, take a moment to appreciate the heroics on display all around us.
For example, when I stood on line at Pioneer, I watched the young girl at the register pack groceries and take money from customers, her nose and mouth covered with a mask, her hands covered in latex.
A lot of people are good and truly scared, but where would we be without people like this teenager, who keeps showing up for work despite the risk?
Where would we be without the drivers, working long hours to deliver goods to all the stores and keeping food on our tables?
Where would we be without all the restaurant owners who are exhausted, struggling to survive, and staying open to keep us well fed?
Where would we be without all the healthcare workers, who go to work each day knowing they will come into contact with an infected person?
Where would we be without all the transit and road workers and police officers and firemen who keep going to work as if it were a normal day, knowing it is anything but?
These people and millions more like them across this country are the heroes of this story, and they are the reason why everything is going to be okay when this is all over.
Because when all is said and done, the vast majority of people are good and kind and have the makings of a hero inside them.
Sometimes it just takes a crisis like this to unmask them.