Yesterday, we went and did our weekly shopping.
Not so long ago, that would not have been enough of an interesting opening line to generate much interest would it?
In these strange times however, who knows what might be revealed or adventure encountered by such a journey?
For example, not for the first time, I actually managed to walk into a supermarket via the ‘new exit’. I had wondered for a second, how perfect my timing must have been due to the complete lack of a queue. Only to then be guided to the new entrance that cleverly made use of the shelter, so that waiting shoppers would not get soaked in the rain we’ve had recently.
We typically go in with two trolleys – one for us and one for my parents – so they don’t need to venture out into the invisible and and still only partially known risks that can accompany such a trip for vulnerable people.
Towards the end of our twin trolley supermarket visit, I was doing my best to follow the arrows on the one way system down the aisles (not altogether successfully), when a woman asked if I could possibly lean over and get a pot of paint that she couldn’t reach in a non-food section of the supermarket.
I was more than happy to oblige.
She thanked me and I of course replied, “You’re welcome.”
I carried on down the aisle towards where my wife was waiting for me to go on to the checkout together.
Suddenly a different female voice politely cried out, “Excuse me, can I have my trolley back please?”
I had inadvertently grabbed the trolley in front of me – instead of mine that was behind me – and walked on down the aisle, completely oblivious!
Perhaps I was a bit distracted by the spontaneous opportunity for helping a stranger I had been given and wasn’t paying attention? Or maybe it was the extra concentration required (by me at least) to remember to follow the one way arrows?
Who knows? The truth is, it wasn’t the first time I had accidentally taken someone else’s trolley – if only for a few steps.
We all had a good laugh as the woman whose trolley I had accidentally taken said she would be quite happy for me to take hers to the checkout – given the amount of groceries inside it.
What is my point then?
Maybe that in the midst of lockdown and social distancing, we can still have a laugh with complete strangers – even if it involves getting a bit closer than many people would recommend.
Thankfully, neither of the women who either voluntarily or involuntarily had contact with me felt they needed to grab some anti-bacterial spray from the nearest shelf!
Perhaps my primary point could be that whilst we all need to observe the government guidelines, I don’t think we need to fear helping someone out or accidentally touching someone’s trolley or a door handle.
Imagine if for example, someone tripped and fell into the road as you were about to walk by them.
Surely your human instincts would instantly kick in and help them up or do whatever was necessary to assist them?
I’m certain that all decent people would become a 21st Century Good Samaritan – regardless of the risks.