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Lines form at local stores due to pandemic

Residents express desire to return to normal

Residents gathered outside of the No Frills on Bloor Street in the hopes to stock up on essentials and found they had to wait in line as the store was limiting the amount of customers inside. (Photo by Chris Jones)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa residents have found themselves waiting in line to enter local stores to stock up on groceries.

One such store is Agostino and Nancy’s No Frills in south Oshawa, which has put in this protective measure to safeguard against COVID-19.

While customers didn’t have to wait too long to enter the store early on in the day, generally only waiting a couple of minutes, residents in line expressed a desire for a return to normalcy.

Sarah Smale, who was one such customer waiting for her turn to shop, told The Oshawa Express the virus doesn’t effect her daily life, but things are a little strange.

“I’m not working at the moment, so I’m sitting at home anyways except for when I need milk,” she says with a laugh. “But this is completely weird. It’s like waiting back in the day for concert tickets outside of the mall to get into HMV – although, milk isn’t as much fun as David Bowie.”

Another resident, who preferred to not share his name, said people are scared to come to his shop.

A local auto-mechanic, he says he is currently spending more money than he is making, and he also has a few choice words for the government.

“They’re a little bit late… They took too long… the virus [first appeared in] November? Now it’s what, March? They’re the ones that are failing on us in my eyes,” he says.

Currently the No Frills in Oshawa, located at 151 Bloor St. E., is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with some No Frills stores having dedicated shopping hours for those who need assistance or consideration, including seniors and people living with disabilities.

A number of other grocery stores around Oshawa have adopted similar policies such as Walmart, where the stores will open at 7 a.m. for people over 65, the disabled, and those with vulnerable health conditions.

Walmart is also one of many stores to implement reduced hours, opening from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for regular customers.