FILE – A plexiglass barrier is pictured creating a barrier to protect a cashier at a grocery store in North Vancouver, B.C. Sunday, March 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Walkers, grocery store customers courteous with physical distancing in B.C.

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail

Walkers offer a nod, a smile or a “hello” to each other but only after stepping aside to leave a wide berth on trails at a park they’ve escaped to in the age of physical distancing.

Jeff Radons ventured out of his home and into his “backyard” at Watershed Park in Delta, B.C., for fresh air and human connection but with at least a two-metre separation from others as part of measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re social people, we need that connection,” Radons says before he and his 11-year-old son, Matt, move to the edge of a trail, allowing two passersby to walk past them.

“But we gotta roll with it. It’s a global problem. If you start making it a downer it’s going to become one. So you just gotta make light of it.”

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail where making way for others has four people moving along single file at a distance from one another.

The same etiquette seems to be followed on the street in Delta as walkers move over on sidewalks or even cross the road to create space between themselves and others out for some exercise as gyms and community centres remain closed.

Radons says his quick trips to the grocery store have also required some unusual navigating to avoid getting too close to other shoppers in the aisles.

“When I come around the corner and see someone I just back pedal and smile: ‘Sorry, go ahead!’ ”

At a Save-On grocery store in Delta, shoppers waiting their turn in a roped-off area alongside a row of cashiers stand two metres apart as indicated by strips of tape on the floor.

READ MORE: B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Other visual references reminding customers to keep their distance include clear plastic barriers between staff and shoppers, as well as signs encouraging physical distancing.

Diane Brisebois, president of the Retail Council of Canada, says grocers across the country are noticing more adherence to physical distancing guidelines as store managers repeat the message in various ways, getting positive feedback from customers and greater appreciation of employees.

“They’re thanking them. They’re being a bit more courteous,” Brisebois says. ”I think there’s been a bit more social media around being kind, that these people are there to protect you, to feed you, to help you. We have noticed a marked difference in the last three to four days.”

Shoppers also appear to be listening to public messaging to not touch products unless they’re buying them, Brisebois says from Toronto.

“In B.C., we applaud the government and public health officials because they have been very collaborative in working with our members in repeating that messaging,” she says.

It’s also important for people to remember that grocery shopping should not be considered a social outing with several family members in tow, Brisebois says.

“Because people are isolated they feel sometimes that they need to go out to the grocery store and they will bring family members or children with them.”

The recognition of grocery store employees as essential service providers by the public has also helped in creating more awareness about the value of workers who remain on the job, Brisebois says.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDN Transit to see rollout of 15 new HandyDart buses

Buses will have temporary protective barriers installed to prevent spread of COVID-19

RDN says water in French Creek still potable despite levels of iron, manganese

Strategy to improve water quality being established

United Way distributes $120,000 in federal funding to seniors in need during pandemic

Salvation Army, Eden Gardens, hospice society among groups granted money

Man who used to live in Nanaimo sought by RCMP on the mainland

Ajia Richardson unlawfully at large after failing to return to psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam

100-pound gargoyle stolen from backyard in Nanaimo’s south end

RCMP asking for any information about the statue’s whereabouts

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Beefs & Bouquets, May 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo senior who was excessively speeding says her vehicle shouldn’t have been impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Two Nanaimo teens on a go-kart get Tim Hortons drive-thru order

Grade 8 students at NDSS answer grandparent’s challenge

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Most Read