Line up for groceries outside Thrifty Foods, Hillside mall/Photo by Brishti Basu

With physical distancing measures becoming the norm over the past month, one of the most common sights in Victoria these days are the snaking six-feet-apart lines outside grocery stores and supermarkets.

Most people across the province have been diligently abiding by provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry’s orders, which led to B.C. flattening our COVID-19 case curve just last week.

And while this is good news, it doesn’t mean any of the physical distancing measures will be lifted until at least mid-May.

See also: B.C. health order banning gatherings over 50 people doesn’t directly apply to grocery stores

For grocery stores and supermarkets, this means we’ll continue to have to line up outside, two metres apart, as we wait for shoppers inside to exit so that the store can maintain its capacity of one person per two meters squared or four square meters of retail floor space at any given time.

This means, much like the situation at walk-in clinics during those pre-pandemic days, there are now wait times to get into some local stores.

Fortunately, technology has — for the most part — kept pace with the evolving needs of our time.

There is now a designated website where people around the world can log and check wait times at grocery stores and supermarkets near their location.

For example, as of the time of publication, the Fairway Market near this reporter’s house recorded a 25 minute wait time to get inside.

The site operates by using information fed by users, so take what this tool says with a grain of salt — at least in the short run.

Overall, it could prove a handy site to check before venturing forth on your next run for yeast or toilet paper.


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