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Some people just don’t get physical distancing

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A tantrum over cash-back restrictions ended with a man throwing his groceries on the store floor at Rowland’s Your Independent Grocer in Port Elgin Monday.

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A few days earlier another man was escorted out after lying to screening staff at the door, but then admitting to a cashier that he was just back from holiday.

While “99 per cent” of shoppers comply with physical distancing rules, Rowland’s assistant manager Chris Leidy, and clerk Erin Fenton, are perplexed and frustrated with those who ignore simple restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’d like only one shopper per household to come in,” Leidy said earlier this week as shoppers lined up outside in the misty rain at 8 a.m. for a special seniors’ shopping hour.

“That man is here every day,” Fenton said as an elderly man walked past with a loaf of bread.

“The age group in here that we have issues with – lining up especially – is seniors and the ones in the early 20s,” she said, adding one customer swore in anger over the additional time it took to wipe down the conveyor belt between each order.

Fenton said the man who lied about being out of the country March 27 caused panic in the shopper who was standing behind him in line.

“I have never seen a customer run like she did – she had an immune-compromised child at home. That shouldn’t happen in a grocery store,” Fenton said. “Physical distancing is all over every media – now all of us staff that were near the man are watching for symptoms.”

Store owner Scott Rowland, in daily contact with staff, ends his two-week self-isolation Saturday, after returning home early from Florida.

Fenton said meat, especially chicken, “is becoming an issue” that prompted some product limiting, and there are still issues with supplies of toilet paper, tissues, flour and yeast. There’s no hand sanitizer and soap supplies are limited.

The PC Express option is so popular that the first date available for local delivery, as of Monday, was Saturday, and that includes additional overnight staff to pick orders.

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