It still feels like the biggest slap in the face. One minute we were celebrating the beginning of a new decade and the next, the same decade disrupted our plans and habits, amongst these, the way we grocery shop.

It actually just dawned on me that the days of wondering aimlessly in a supermarket are gone. The flexibility of strolling from isle to isle, scrutinizing prices, deciding to leave an item and eventually come back for it are a thing of the past. The luxury of going to three other shops to compare prices is gone.

Essentials is the name of the game.

I have to prepare myself mentally and physically before embarking on a shopping assignment. If you did a double take on that, I did to, it has become a task, an assignment, a mission!

With my gear ready before I step out, sanitizer, face mask, a detailed grocery list, and mentally prepping to deal with people working their way in and out of the shop in the safest, shortest time possible. Constantly wary of keeping a distance from the next person whilst at the same time keeping my mask in position and remembering to breathe. All this, while being considerate and kind enough to let that elderly couple get ahead of me in the queue, simply because I am kind.

I continue to remind myself to greet and small talk with the till operator who has been sitting on that chair daily, numbing their fears to serve us, the same fears we all have about the pandemic.

On my way out, I remember to sanitize and prepare my mind to start thinking about the process of disembarking at home, and above all, to practice gratitude that in the midst of all this, I get to live to tell the story.


Charity Maruva is a Harare based counselor and the founder of Solutions Counseling. Charity has been providing therapeutic services to children, teens, adults and families for the past 10 years.

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