(Beaver Dam) Local grocers say more social distancing is needed around their employees. As the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up, grocers are one of the few businesses that are open and are finding themselves on the front lines of an unexpected war against a viral contagion.
“I’m so impressed with my staff,” says Brett Rechek, the owner of Rechek’s Food Pride in Beaver Dam, “They have been there throughout this trying time working their tails off.”
Rechek says he wants to stay open for his customers but that would not be possible if his staff is sick.
“I watched a lady in the store licking her fingers as she was going through her papers. That’s how this is going to get out of control,” Chief Mannel says, “People need to pay attention to what the CDC is saying.”
“We’re doing the best we can but we need our customers to try and get some social distance from my employees,” Rechek says.
Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel stopped by the store this week to discuss the importance of social distancing for everyone, including grocers.
“Brett talked to me about it that he noticed a lot of people in the store don’t seem to be taking [social distancing] seriously and I had to agree with him,” Mannel says, “Even the ones who do take it seriously through force of habit they are touching their face.”
“I watched a lady in the store licking her fingers as she was going through her papers. That’s how this is going to get out of control,” he says, “People need to pay attention to what the CDC is saying.”
Rechek has been in daily contact with his main competitor over on the beautiful east side of the city. Daryl Schoenfeld owns Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly. Both Rechek and Schoenfeld say cleanliness has been a top priority, having crews disinfecting their stores every night.
Schoenfeld is also asking the public to be patient with them as they work tirelessly to stock their shelves “as fast as possible.”
Schoenfeld says as bad as the pandemic is globally, locally the community has really stepped up to prove that we’re all in this together.
“We have had so many people in the last several days come up to us and say, ‘thank you for all you’re doing, we know that your trying, we know that you’re doing your best’. We’ve actually had customers come in and offer to help stock shelves.”
“I’m just so proud of this community,” Schoenfeld says, “Brett Rechek echoes the same thing. We’re here for them, they’re here for us and its been a great partnership.”
Chief Mannel stresses that the CDC guidelines should be looked at as rules that everybody stay six feet apart, which he says is prudent and just makes sense.
Both Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly and Recheks Food Pride have hours dedicated to seniors, those most susceptible to the virus, between 7am and 8am.