GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Everyday, after he stocks store shelves at a West Michigan big-box retailer, Dave Richards witnesses one the of the great mysteries surrounding COVID-19.
“They rush to the toilet paper aisle. I never have understood why the obsession with the toilet paper aisle,” Richards said.
These days, many everyday people with everyday jobs are finding themselves on the front lines when it comes to dealing with COVID-19 and the non-physical effects of the virus.
Among them are the people who stock store shelves, like Richards.
“We put ourselves out there. We’re there for the customers,” said Richards, who’s been stocking shelves for decades.
He asked us not to name where he currently works, but the scenes are pretty much the same at stores all over the country.
Richard’s day begins at 4 am. He helps line the shelves and waits for the doors to open for customers.
“It’s a mad house,” Richards said. “I see these people in the first hour and they always rush to the paper aisle. I don’t understand the toilet paper thing.”
And that has Richards frustrated.
He says too many shoppers are showing up to stores too often, in some cases, hoarding items, instead of taking what they need.
“We get supplies in every day. It’s not like we’re getting it one day a week. We’re getting it every day.” Richards said.
His two big concerns are customers, like the elderly who truly need items, having to go without, and the increased traffic leading to an increased risk of spreading COVID-19.
And he has a message from the stockroom.
“We can get through this,” Richards said. “Just please, think about one another.”