North Falmouth Cheese Shop products
By Katherine Lemieux
Before the pandemic hit almost seven months ago, I would have never imagined that I would be wearing a face mask for more than eight hours in a day. I would have to be double gloving, anxiously getting nervous for having a runny nose, or sanitizing all highly touched surfaces every thirty minutes. Although now that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, I am afraid to say that this will be our new normal for a very long time, especially in the food industry.
Working at The North Falmouth Cheese shop six days a week during the summer and four days a week during the winter, I have learned a lot regarding the necessary changes to our work environment to protect ourselves and our customers from the novel Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19. Being a small boutique market, we flourished and thrived as a business. Fortunately, due to Covid-19 and the restrictions put into place by the Massachusetts government, our customers truly felt safe and welcomed to come into our shop. We were requiring social distancing and limiting the number of customers coming into our shop at one time, because of how small our space is. We also offered curbside pickup for the customers who did not feel comfortable coming in, or the ones who were immunocompromised. These customers could buy all the things they could ever want without even having to come in through our front door. Another reason why customers kept coming in was because we offered an abundance of hard to get items including: flour, yeast, eggs, toilet paper, and paper towels. Our shop was like a big grocery store, except one hundred times smaller.
Fast forward through those seven crazy months, and we are still as busy as ever. We are still requiring everyone to social distance in our shop, even though we have had a couple of scuffles regarding social distancing with some of our customers. We are still offering curbside pickup. We are not offering toilet paper or paper towels anymore, but in case the nation goes into another shortage, we are ready to price and put out whatever we have in the back.
A lot has changed in those seven months, but my personal opinion is that we are going to stay in this environment of over cautiousness for a very long time, even after a vaccine comes out. In reality, the vaccine is going to go to the highest priority people in our nation, and then it will deescalate down the list. So even if masks will not be required once the vaccine comes out, I will definitely be wearing one just in case.