While most people may not carry tape measures with us at all times to perfectly mark off the 6-foot space required for “social distancing,” some businesses are going ahead and taking the step of measuring for the customers.
Upon entry into the Home Depot at 4010 NW Oak, guests immediately see the checkout counter, where thick pieces of tape make a rectangle on the ground to mark off where customers are allowed to stand while checking out. Behind the rectangle, more tape is turned into Xs, dictating where those in line should be to establish social distancing.
Although people in Lawton, the United States and indeed, the entire world, have been encouraged to stay inside for nearly a month now, citizens still continue to make trips to various establishments when they see fit, with hardware and home improvement stores among those seeing fairly consistent business. With so many Americans staying at home, the desire to complete home projects has risen. And with the alternating nature of sunny and rainy days in Lawton, hobbies like gardening and lawn care have become more prevalent.
Of course, breathing masks used for yard work also are in demand.
Keeping this in mind, Home Depot stores were encouraged to make sure customers remained a safe distance away from employees and from each other.
Home Depot is far from the only business to take such measures.
Kelly Cauthon and her brother own two Subway sandwich stores in Lawton, at 5050 W. Lee and 2706 W. Gore. Almost two weeks ago, representatives from corporate told Cauthon the stores needed to have taped Xs on the ground to inform customers where to stand. She said the customers, though fewer in numbers these days, haven’t seemed to mind the changes.
“I think the store at Gore had to tell people to spread out one time, but other than that, they’ve been pretty good about staying apart from each other,” Cauthon said. “For the most part, they’re self-policing.”
Cauthon’s employees haven’t had to do much to change their routine, as they already wiped the counters down routinely and washed hands and changed gloves where customers could see. Cauthon said she did have to cut staff hours, and is telling all employees to make sure to keep distance from customers, as well as each other.
“Customers have certainly noticed,” she said. “We’re just trying to do whatever we can.”
Of course, perhaps no business is booming quite like the local grocery store. Discount Foods has been locally-owned for decades, and continues to get daily foot traffic from people looking to stock up on food while also supporting a local business. And while they have not taken to using bright blue Xs on the ground, owner Rodney Breeze said his employees still are taking every precaution they can to keep everything safe and sanitary.
“We’re wiping down buggies, wiping down door handles, wiping everything down as much as possible,” Breeze said.