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OPINION: Ease back into shopping

The Henry Hype
The Henry Hype

With businesses slowly starting to reopen as the province relaunches, I still find myself weary when I head into retail stores.

I know this is a bit of an overreaction. We were incredibly lucky around here when it came to the number of coronavirus cases, and everyone’s been great at flattening the curve.

It’s why when I saw Ella’s Closet in Cold Lake offering a spring flash sale event, I knew I wanted to participate.

The local consignment store allowed groups to book a half-hour shopping appointment with yourself and some friends, and almost everything was only $5.

When I signed up to go with my friend Cindy, the weariness returned when I was making my way to Cold Lake. I know it was silly, especially considering there would be only a few of us in the store and all provincial health orders would be followed.

My worries were almost immediately dispelled when the employee walked us through all the precautions taken and offered us hand sanitizer before we got started.

As I wandered around the store and looked at what was on the racks, it felt like everything was normal again. It didn’t feel like a pandemic had just wreaked havoc across the world for the past two months, and I was simply on the hunt for some spring and summer-friendly work clothing.

I forgot it was the first time I’d been in retail stores for months, and simply remembered the love/hate relationship I have when it comes to clothes shopping.

For myself, it was a good way of easing back into shopping in the retail industry, and there was no line to wait in. I felt relaxed and thankful that I had the opportunity to participate.

Unfortunately, the impacts of COVID-19 are going to last for quite some time and there’s still a fear that some businesses might not be able to recover.

As important as it is for the economy to bounce back from essentially being shut down for two months, it's also crucial to ensure shoppers and employees are safe as stores begin to open back up.

Ensure that where ever you’re going they're following the recommendations from the province, and use hand sanitizer when you can. If you aren’t ready to head out to explore just yet, take it slow and go at your own pace.

I eased my way back into things through Ella’s Closet, and I’m glad I did.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle