After the breakout of COVID-19, a reader we're calling Olive worked from home for three months and limited any trips to stores to an every-other-week visit to her local supermarket. She would wear a mask into the store, make her purchases, return home, put the groceries away and then wash her hands copiously. Washing her hands copiously throughout the day became routine.
After three months, Olive decided to expand her outside-the-home activities to an occasional pickup of takeout food from a local restaurant or a trip to her favorite garden center. It was planting season, she writes, and if she was going to be cooped up at home she wanted to be able to get outside and work on her modest garden.
"I went to the garden center last week to buy some clay pots," writes Olive. "There was one in particular I liked, but it was one of the few pots on the shelves that didn't have a price tag." Olive writes that she looked at a smaller size version of the pot and noted it had a $5 price tag on it.
She picked up a few other items at the center and made her way to the checkout line, making sure to pay heed to the marks on the floor that indicated six-foot distances checking-out customers should keep from one another as they went to pay the cashier.
Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Simple Art of Business Etiquette: How to Rise to the Top by Playing Nice," is a senior lecturer in public policy and director of the communications program at Harvard's Kennedy School.
Follow him on Twitter: @jseglin
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