Concerns rise with pandemic shopping as Thanksgiving approaches

The good thing is we've been here before - shopping in a pandemic. So the hope is we've learned things as customers and retailers. 
But that theory will really be put to the test when you add Thanksgiving to the mix, fresh off another announcement of more Covid restrictions. 

Then add in some cold blustery days with a pinch of holiday spirit and you have a recipe for a crowded grocery store. 

"I do see it picking up. So we may get to that point where people are going to buy more than what they need because the lines are really long in there," said shopper Mark.

Thanksgiving during a pandemic will almost certainly look and feel different. Shelves tend to get bare this time of year as it is and those trends are cropping up.

"Pumpkins are in short supply, at least canned pumpkins," said Jarred Gild, director of ops, Western Market. "So you might need to buy a whole pumpkin and really do it from scratch."

But let's face it, we came here for the toilet paper.

"I was surprised they actually had toilet paper because I was reading about runs on tp again," said Jason Kugel.

Remember when paper products were pretty much wiped out at the beginning of the pandemic? Mark does. 

"I feel it was very unnecessary and nerve-wracking," he said.

Now it's still hit or miss depending on the store.

"It's going to be really interesting the next couple of weeks," Mark said.

But for the moment lessons appeared to be learned. That's what they told FOX 2 over at Western Market in Ferndale. 

"We added a lot of distribution in the spring. we are ready for the changes," Christopher Wiesman, safety and compliance manager, Western Market. 

People can expect to see longer lines just to get indoors of a grocery store due to capacity restrictions of at least 50 percent. Some even voluntarily more restrictive. 

"The reason we are doing that is to allow people to maintain that social distance," said Wiesman. "It helps them feel safe and it the best thing we can do for them."

And now with bars closed and restaurants offering only take out. They anticipate more runs to the grocery store. 

"This week with the new restrictions we are expecting a little extra business, especially on the nicer days i can see people coming out," said Gild.

It's not all bad news. stores are figuring out what trends might stick around after the pandemic. For instance buying in bulk, packaging it themselves, and passing the savings to the customer.
One thing that will likely be in short supply as we dive deep into month nine of the pandemic - patience. It is hard to find anywhere.

Some bigger box stores right now have limitations on cleaning products and paper products.