Friday, January 05, 2007

back away from the groceries

we went to the supermarket yesterday to buy some food. milk, bread, and mushrooms. as we were checking out the checker was advising the woman bagging our purchases to go home, or perhaps take a lot of vitamin c, because she had just told him she was still feeling very sick. robin and i looked at each other askance, paid, and walked out. we talked about how awful it was to have our food, packaged tho it is, be handled by someone who knows she is sick. so i went back in, found the manager, and told him i'd like to replace the items as i don't appreciate having a sick person handling my food. i added that such practice seems bad for a grocery store.

he nodded assent, perhaps a bit ruefully. so i took a basket and picked out replacements. when i returned with my hopefully at least slightly more sterile packages he was in conversation with the sick woman, who shot me a hostile look. he started to check me out again, thought better of it, bagged the stuff and bade me good day.

i know that working life isn't easy for people who may have little or no sick leave. and she wasn't preparing food or serving it. but still. how would you feel accepting your bag of food from someone ignoring you to carry on a conversation about being sick? i imagined a faint, ghastly green glow coming from the bag. i'm hardly a fanatic about germs and cleanliness (although robin is). in fact, mostly i don't even consider germs. i'm fortunate enough to be quite healthy, but i am aware of the hotbed of colds and runny noses that grade schools too often are, and robin's tales of sick students at the big university where she worked are sobering, so i know that we avoid most contagious stuff because of our semi-solitary nature. i'm not up to volunteering to find out how easily germs migrate from hands to packages to food to me.

what responsibility do we have when we're ill to keep our germs to ourselves?

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I hope you have been saving your spectacular good earth shots to send to January's host, the incomparable Laura of Somewhere in NJ. Please send her your photos depicting the beauty of our planet for this Saturday's Good Planets. Her email is lc-hardy at comcast dot net. Thanks everyone!

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