Following the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe, the WHO pronounced the disease a pandemic and published that its mortality rate is exceptionally high for the aged and immunosuppressed population.
This has made the elderly a target of many charity initiatives that provide for their needs in order to limit their presence outdoors. One such effort has been taken by major grocery stores across the globe and those particular to Europe – setting aside special hours for only elderly persons to shop.
This includes Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, Hannaford, Shaw's as well as other supermarkets in Europe.
This started last week when the companies developed the theory that letting the senior citizens shop among lesser crowds posed little to no danger of contracting coronavirus.
This way, they also get to have the highest chances of getting supplies in high demand like sanitizer as well as other products, before they run out.
However, this has not always proven effective in these supermarkets because of panic buying. Due to the seemingly constant fear of running out of supplies while being quarantined, people rush to get supplies from supermarkets making it nearly impossible for such companies to stay true to their plans to help the seniors.
Overall, there are different accounts of the situation from the aged customers. One, Don Gregson, 81, had such an experience at a Stop & Shop grocery store in North Providence, Rhode Island, that had set aside early morning hours for elderly customers.
On finding a crowd at the store, Gregson slipped on a surgical mask he carries in his pocket, before walking into the store to buy 4 gallons (15 liters) of distilled water for the machine he needs for sleep apnea.
"I'm sure they were trying to do the right thing, but somehow the planning went astray", he said.
For some other shops; however, the plan was successfully executed and accurate to the theory, it has helped the older adults practice social distancing even while catering to their needs.