Why is this person rocking back and forth in his designated spot?
What are these people doing? Why are they crowding the spices and pulses aisle?
Oh no, oh no, this person has moved into my aisle. Should I leave cart here and head somewhere or do I pull the cart along too?
These questions swirl in my head; each moment spent in the grocery store adding to my already elevated anxiety. I am suitably dressed – masked and gloved, but instead of calming me down, it makes me nauseous, a point in the log curve towards paranoia.
I get that this is the new normal and that I will have to get used to it, but in my heart and head, I wish it wasn’t so. Grocery shopping was one of the more purer things I did. Free of anxiety and worry and full of discovery.
Now, it is a war full of attrition and exhaustion.