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  • Writer's picturegraeme

Shopping Has To Change (so do you!)

Please think it through, my South African friends.

Let’s start with an assumption. You might have Covid-19 and not know it. If you have it, your children probably have it.

So, you go to the clothes store and try on some clothes. They don’t fit or you don’t like the style. You put them back on the rack. Two hours later I come and buy those clothes and take them home. And I get Covid. Or I just try them on in the shop and get Covid.

Let’s try another assumption. You buy the clothes and take them home and your kids try them on and they don’t fit. So you bring them back to exchange them. They’re covered in Covid. What must the store do now? A full deep clean of the clothes so they can resell them? No. They’ll just put them back on the shelves, so I’ll get Covid from you again.

You’ve spent 6 weeks in Lockdown. Have you not learnt anything about this disease? No. You can’t try on clothes. And no. You can’t return them after you’ve taken them home. That rule has been in place for underwear since before you were born and it’s now in place for all clothes. For pretty much the same reason!

Let’s try another assumption. The store where you bought your clothes needs to keep their staff safe. They need physical distancing, so they’re not bringing everyone in. They’ve also only been open a few days and not all their staff are able to come in, because some are locked down far away and others need to look after the children who haven’t gone back to school.

So they have to decide which bits of the store to keep closed. So they decide that since NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD EITHER TRY ON CLOTHES IN STORE OR RETURN CLOTHES THEY BOUGHT, they are not opening the returns desk. They put signs up throughout the store just to be super clear about this.

I think any of these assumptions are fair and reasonable. But all over my Facebook feed I have adult human beings throwing their toys out the cot because they just didn’t think it through. They bought clothes for their kids that don’t fit and now can’t return them (they will be able to return them later, just not now, because of that staff issue), and so they are just losing it.

Maybe, people, just maybe, there are reasons for the rules. Maybe, just maybe you are the one who didn’t think it through. Maybe, just maybe, you could be an adult about this, instead of ranting online. Maybe? Please?]

Here’s the less snarky version: we are not going back to normal. Not anytime this year. I know that’s hard to accept and each time you bump up against something that is new and out of the normal it’s going to be hard. Please try and be gracious.

This virus is a beast and we need to protect ourselves from it. You have to think this stuff through. And you need to realise that cleverer people than you who have a bigger world than yours have tried to put the best rules in place to protect you and everyone else. Make sure you learn the new rules and play the new game. It’s going to be around for a while.

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