Despite many of us currently having to stay at home and flattening the curve during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Easter bunny was at least listed as an essential service by our government. While everyone should still try to limit outdoor visits to grocery stores as much as possible, we don’t have to feel so bad about buying chocolate eggs for our children to give them a bit of normalcy during this Easter weekend.
The Covid-19 emergency has many of us sheltering in our houses but the isolation this brings has made us long even more for comfort and a sense of home.
The independent British Grocer in Burlington, Ontario imports foods from across the ocean and offers items that bring families together. These are even more appreciated now that we are apart from our loved ones. The store is regarded as essential in our community given the groceries and other important items they provide.
The store makes much of their baked foods such as pies and meat products on site from scratch using traditional British recipes.
UK expats are regular visitors to the British Grocer to purchase these comfort foods from their homeland. Since the pandemic caused much of Ontario to shut down in mid-March, the number of customers has declined as most of the public are following the guidelines and only going out for essential items.
Denise Beckett a cashier at the store has noticed regulars still coming by but not like before.
“They’re still coming but they try to come once a week so aren’t coming as often. They buy in bulk when they do come,” said Beckett.
Following the rules is no longer just a social obligation, it’s now a legal requirement that can result in hefty fines or even imprisonment if not followed.
The Ontario government has banned more than five people from gathering together and the store in enforcing this policy by only allowing five people in the store at any one time.
People will be ticketed or fined for breaking the rules. Tickets amounting of either $750 or $1,000 will be handed out to anyone not complying with physical distancing rules.
Staff in the store are wearing masks and gloves and enforcing the two-metre rule with markers along the floor both inside and outside. In addition to ensuring only five people enter at any one time.
Cheryl Strachan, RD a registered Dietician said on her blog that it’s ok if you’re craving high carb and sugary items during this stressful time.
“This is a ridiculously stressful time. People are dying. Sudden and widespread unemployment is upon us. Trips and events have been cancelled. Do NOT beat yourself up over this” she said.
No one knows how long this crisis will last. Children’s lives have been turned upside down. They’re not able to play at parks, ride their bikes, play with friends or have play dates. At least stores like the British Grocer can still bring some joy with Easter treats and chocolate eggs. For their parents, a taste of happier times with family and friends.