Shopping run: I went to the supermarket yesterday – for the benefit of my local friends, the Vons on University in La Mesa. The crowd seemed about typical for a weekday afternoon, which is to say moderate. Neither heavy nor light. Most people were not wearing masks or gloves. I wore latex gloves – surprisingly light and comfortable, and blue, which made me think of the bad guys on the TV show “Firefly.” I did see a few other gloves-wearers, and a couple of people wearing masks. None of the staff were wearing gloves or masks.

The shelves for toilet paper, sanitizer and wipes were bare. Slim pickings on soup. My favorite pea soup with ham was in, Julie’s tortilla soup was out. Our favorite brand of cat littler had only one box in stock, but I was able to load up on an alternative. Everything else seemed pretty well stocked up, including meats, dairy and produce.

There was a box of hand sanitizers at the front entrance of the supermarket for public use. I think it’s there all the time, not just during the pandemic. Usually I don’t bother. Yesterday I took one and used it to quickly wipe down the handle of the shopping cart, even though I was wearing gloves and my hands wouldn’t be touching the handle.

We mostly kept a six-foot distance. Although we did get closer when we passed each other, we didn’t linger. We kept our distance at the shelves; if one person was taking something, the other hung back until the first was done. No reacharound.

When I got to the cashier, there was one woman in line, behind the person being checked out. She took two steps back and I realized I had been standing too close, and did the same. When it was her turn, and I stepped up to the on-deck position, the cashier said I should load my groceries on the conveyer belt like usual, and then stand at the end of the checkout counter until it was my turn.

I asked when toilet paper would be in stock. She said likely Wednesday, but I should be sure to get there early. When the store opens at 7 am there’s a line of 150 people waiting to get in.

I am slightly concerned as we are legit running low on TP. Got about a week’s supply. Got plenty of facial tissues and paper towels so that’s not a cause for concern. Likewise, while I am running low on my favorite hand soap, we have plenty of other soap.

Our pending possible shortages are like inaudible whispers compared with the jet engine roar of what may be coming in a few weeks.

Mitch Wagner's Blog @MitchWagner