Coronavirus and shopping: your experiences


Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
Hi everyone,

We know that convenience stores are essential during this time. Our Programme Partnerships team would like to know either how your local convenience store is supporting you to stay safe and connected or what challenges you're having with shopping.

The team is supporting organisations to better support people affected by dementia, and specifically they'd like to know:
  • What are you finding particularly challenging during this time? They will use your stories to help inform what they're telling organisations to do.
  • Has your local store gone above and beyond? They will celebrate those that are going above and beyond to support people affected by dementia during this time.
Please tell us your experiences so far below. Thanks so much everyone.


Registered User
Mar 27, 2020
I've not found supermarkets particularly helpful, although smaller shops such as grocers and milk delivery companies deliver most needed for staples and local hubs picking up shopping and prescriptions without physical contact

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
I have to praise Waitrose and Superdrug. Waitrose queueing system works well and the security staff are so far handling everyone with humour and patience. Last Friday I needed disposable bed sheets in a bit of a hurry, but Superdrug were only open for pharmacy. When I said what I needed they let me in to have look around. Everyone politely gave me space as I shambled around in a daze.


Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
I’ve just come back from Lidl. They have a van in the car park cleaning each trolley after each use, screen up at the checkouts, one customer at a time allowed to use the conveyor belt and security guy wearing gloves packing trolley at the other end.

Their hygiene can’t be faulted but I wouldn’t like to have to explain it to a PWD.


Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
Well being in a rural area with high proportion of retired & highly vulnerable folks means no deliveries even from our local farm shops!
So will have to run the gauntlet at some point!
I have decided to be the one who does it!
Daughter asthmatic , Husband works & need income, so i'm the most expendable!
My Acute M.E means i'm hyper vigilant anyway...
i'm hoping that this will all calm down a little bit! The shelves are bare by the time around here after the vulnerable etc have shopped.
priority to those folks is admirable but the system is flawed- who will look after the vulnerable when all the able bodied are infected ... local help groups now experiencing this phenomena!
So i have plenty of dried food but no fresh!

planting of seeds in conservatory - but no more compost as panic buying has depleted stocks!
seed prices rocketing - yep the worlds gone mad!

I'm cooking food & leaving a meal outside of neighbours in sealed sterilised containers; one lovely lady put a bar of chocolate outside in the returned container!
That random act of kindness i shared with my family.
chocolate a true luxury in these times xx

i am kicking myself for giving up my allotment - but am looking at how i can grow in my garden!
slugs etc rife !
still i'm lucky
i live in beautiful countryside that means i can have my daily walk in fabulous surroundings!

& i did want to loose some weight! 😶


Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
We mainly go to our local CoOp who have a good system (I think most supermarkets have similar now). They only allow 15 people in at a time, you queue outside with 2m between each person. They sanitise the basket handle before they hand it to you. The shopping is packed for you so you don't get too close to the till assistant. They then sanitise the card reader before and after you use it.

The CoOp's shelves were very well stocked - we got everything we needed. They close for an hour or two at lunchtime when the delivery arrives, so they can restock the shelves without mingling with customers.

All very reassuring but we do not have a PWD with us - my mother is in a CH. You would not be able to take a PWD with you anyway as they only let one person in per household. I know Waitrose is operating a very similar system as my friend used her local branch last week. She went with her husband and only one of them was allowed in the store so he waited outside.


Registered User
May 6, 2019
Another vote for the CoOp here - local one is doing the best they can and the staff have been fantastic so far. Pretty much everything except eggs two days ago. I’d dearly love to get the paper but have resigned myself to the online version for now - all set to use old copies cut up, put on a string and hung up in the loo if need be though ;-)


Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
Mid Lincs
I've found online slots almost impossible to get, tesco appear to be releasing one day at a time it must be around midnight as19th April was unavailable to book last night at 10pm but was fully booked by 7am this morning.
Can't speak to anyone at Tescos, all phone lines are computer answered and no option I can find to speak to anyone. Emailed to get the reply, they are not answering emails at this time.

My OH is in a wheelchair so not easy to shop with a trolly, he's not vulnerable according to government website but suffers regular infections and has a weaken immune system. Not a good time to get anyone to sit with him, care company short of carers but I can't leave him alone for more than 10minutes.

Shopping hours 9-10am set aside 3 days a week for the elderly is too early for us as he needs carers to help him up and we live 17miles from the store and it takes 10 - 15 minutes to strap him into the wheelchair adapted vehicle we have. I might make it with 10mins to spare.
I'm not in dire need at this time but if it goes on for another month or two and online shopping is as difficult to get we will be.

We have no village shop, no local business thats delivers, we rely on the big supermarkets but if I can't get in touch with them how I can I let them know there are households that will fall through the net?
There is a local Co-op in the next village but I have heard they regularly have empty shelves, running back and forth 2-3 times day is not a option. My preference would be to leave him in the car but I worry he would get anxious if I have to queue for 15mins to get in, then shop, then wait to pay.
If the local Co-op did a click and collect it would good.

I have wonderful neighbours but feel I could only ask them to pick up the odd item or two not do a weekly shop.

Sorry for the rant.


Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply so far, these are all so helpful. Sounds like a mixture of positive and difficult experiences - we'll pass these onto the team.