Though I live only a block away, I haven’t shopped at the Coop for many many days now. It’s been 6 a.m. senior shopping at Union Market for me. There are many things at the Coop that I really can’t get elsewhere, but the long line, snaking up Union, along 7th, and down President,  is a sure way to spread the virus. It is also a threat to other people in the community who have to navigate that sidewalk stretch. Since I am 77 years old, with a heart condition, I have decided not to chance it. 

However, I have a thought that might work for the rest of the Coop population. 

Set up a schedule that allows members to choose a time slot once every two weeks. It could be done as some kind of Doodle or Evite, so you go online and plug into Shopping, pick, say,  Tuesday, March 24, 11:30-12:30, get a “ticket” either to print out or show up on your phone. Each slot would be for 1 hour, each slot would accommodate only X number of shoppers in the store at a time, and if you miss your slot, you sign up again. 

It would require working out the math. Something like this: 10 slots per day X 14 days = 140 slots. Coop has 17,000 members. Divide 17,000 by 140 = 121 shoppers per slot. 

I don’t know how many are currently being allowed in at a time now—121 may be way too many, in which case reduce “tickets” to once a month: 280 slots = roughly 60 shoppers per slot. You get the general idea. 

The virus is going to be with us for many months to come. And the quarantine may end for a while, then be reimposed if the virus comes back. If we institute a system along the lines I propose, this would reduce pressure on Coop members and staff alike, and we could all shop quickly and safely. 

Martha Cameron