Shopping problem

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,254
South coast
I have a problem that many may feel is stupid and trivial, and, TBH, I rather feel the same, but it is causing me problems.

I have claustrophobia and I find shopping in a supermarket very stressful - it feels like the shelves are closing in on me and I have several times had panic attacks while there. Ive been doing local shopping for perishables and general shopping, but its reached the stage where Im going to have to do a supermarket shop. I havnt been for a month and Im getting low on the stuff I cant get locally - in particular, OHs gluten free stuff. I am dreading it.

In addition to my usual anxiety, Im worried about having to wait in a queue (which will just make the anticipation worse), worrying about not being able to find what I need and also, I have this dry cough that Ive had for a month, so I dont think Ive got coronavirus and its probably a stress cough, but what happens if I start coughing in the middle of the supermarket? Normally I would take someone with me for moral support, but I cant do that.

OH and I are both under 70 and OH does not have a diagnosis, despite having multiple neurological problems. He has had so many infections of different sorts over the past 18 months that a doctor asked me if there was any reason why he had low immunity - whether he had had chemotherapy, or had HIV? The answer is no, no-one knows why, but Im sure that he is in the high risk category, except, of course, that he isnt. This means that we get no priority at all, I cant go in when its quiet, there are no delivery slots, and I worry about bringing the virus back.

Any advice and or tips for getting me there?
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,242
Have you looked round to see what might be the quieter supermarkets? There is a branch of Sainsburys near us that isn't very big and is in a shopping centre with not very easy access by car. We've used it several times and have been surprised at how easy getting a bit of shopping has been. It does have gluten free stuff though as I've bought things there for a colleague, but maybe not the full range the larger branches would carry.
How about phoning the local council and see if you can be added to a vulnerable people's list? Your husband has been in hospital often enough the last few months to surely qualify.
Sorry I don't live anywhere near you, or I'd pop to the shops for you.
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
8,712
leicester
Our small local Co-ops seem to be fairly well stocked and do gluten free albeit not a big range..
I hope you manage to get what you need..
asda adds the next days slots just after midnight but then I find the website crashes might be worth a try
take care
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,077
Scotland
I found M&S quieter and always well stocked. I’ve passed that info on to others in different parts of the country and they’ve found the same. Big shoppers seem to go for Tesco etc and that’s where the queues and shelf stripping occur.

They also do an oldie hour on Wednesday and Monday from 9 until 10. No one asks for your birth certificate!
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,816
Bristol
Sorry to read that , canary. I am beginning to feel the same way, ironically it gets worse the more the queuing systems are increasing. My partner's daughter gave me this link https://acorntheunion.org.uk/corona/, though the only place on the south coast they operate is Brighton. There are groups popping up on facebook and if you are on there you might find something.
Sorry if none of that is of any use to you.
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
497
I don't think your problem is stupid or trivial @canary. Although I don't suffer myself from claustrophobia I hate being in crowds & feel like I'm suffocating hence why I don't normally do the supermarket shop. Since introduction of social distancing in the supermarkets I have found it is much better in the store. The queuing outside does keep moving. I guess choosing a normally least busy time might be better.
If you really can't face it I wonder if any nearby friends who perhaps already have a regular delivery could include your order with theirs? My sister is currently doing that for her daughters. Otherwise are there any local voluntary groups or church groups set up to assist people self isolating who could help? If we lived closer I too would help you out.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,009
Newcastle
I found the nearby Sainsbury's local to be a good option. It is smaller and more expensive than my usual Aldi but still has a good range of goods. I can't say about gluten free but if you have one nearby you could check before going. The one I went to had a chap on the door. He asked me to wait outside but it was only for a few minutes. I used the self-service tills and my contactless card. I hope you manage without too much trouble and anxiety.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
231
I am so sad to read your post. You help so many people with your advice. I will look at a post because I want to hear your opinion! it seems so wrong that when you could do with a bit of support there isn’t any there for you.
i prefer to visit a supermarket that closes at 10pm at 9pm.
Very quiet at this time ( just before the last minute shoppers come in)
I didn’t want to be in the supermarket, hence rushed, this made me forget not to get to close to other shoppers at one point, and one woman jumped back and looked at me like I was a leper, so point number one, don’t rush.
Drink honey and lemon before departing.
Wear a hat, ( this is actually serious advice) I have a cough and received very dirty looks. The fact you can return to the supermarket the following week looking completely different can be re assuring!
Remember if you get stressed, you just park your trolly and walk out, there is no law against it!
I hope other posters think of something better than my advice, wishing you well!
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,851
69
Dundee
I’m so sorry to read your post @canary.

I have found here that some small local suppliers have closed their shops and are concentrating on home deliveries - eg mixed fruit and veg boxes from a local greengrocer. One of the farmshops near here is including things like milk and bread in their boxes. Might there be anything like that in your area?
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,771
Dorset
Before the virus I would often do my weekly shop at Sainsbury’s around 7.00.p.m. When the shop was quieter. Now I am stuck at home my daughter went shopping for me around 3.00.p.m. on Sunday afternoon and said the shop was really quiet and they seemed to have most things In stock. She even managed to get a pack of part baked rolls, which really surprised me!
i am lucky that I live on the outskirts of a small town and quite a few of the local shops are doing home deliveries to self isolators. I believe there is also a volunteer brigade who are willing to do things like shopping too. Maybe there is something similar in your area if you look online?
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,102
Suffolk
You can ask for a member of staff to walk around with you, they do in my local Waitrose ( will also push a trolley if one is in a wheelchair).
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
1,721
South East
I’m sorry you struggle with this @canary and I agree with @Moggymad , it’s not silly or trivial . I don’t have any useful ideas , I just wanted to show you some support as you do for everyone else ! Take care , hope you manage to get shopping done as easy and stress free as possible for you . X
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,961
south-east London
Sorry you are struggling with this @canary.

I've been out and about getting food for people this week and have found the quickest and easiest stores to get around are the smaller ones like Tesco Express, Co-Op etc - they seem to be well stocked and there have been just five or six people in the queue whenever I have had to shop at them.

A friend of my daughter's works in one of the major supermarkets and says that it is quieter between 12 and 3pm - but I haven't tested that out myself.
 
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annebythesea

Registered User
I think @canary you certainly deserve some help on this one. I would look on Facebook for a local group of volunteers who are getting shopping/prescriptions for people who are finding it difficult for whatever reason. Just search on Facebook for your local town + coronavirus. My town has organised a community response alongside the council so it is all legit and above board. I would just tell them that your husband is vulnerable and you need to self-isolate and hopefully help will come your way. Some shops do click and collect which can make it easier as you have chosen/paid for the shopping already. Happy to look for you if you DM me your location. I am also South Coast in East Devon.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
599
Waitrose has been very good.
I am in my fifties, with a visible disability but I am quite mobile. I drive my father once a week to shop there (he won't stay at home, dont ask) . We go at 8.30 am in the elderly hour. I explain that I am driving him and they haven't turned us away. Very quiet and most things in stock. I think it is only small packs of loo roll and flour that they didn't have today. Staff are very helpful.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
231
So can someone explain this to me because I don’t understand it.
some old people are in houses with no food because they don’t know what to do.
The government have thousands of volunteers and redeployed staff.
why don’t they set up a telephone helpline that connects people that need help, then give out the phone number on each news broadcast?
There must be a reason it hasn’t happened but I just can’t see it?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,254
South coast
Hi everyone and that you all for your replies. I knew you wouldnt fail me, and you havent :)

Ill try and reply to everyone, but please forgive me if I acidently dont.
@Sarasa @marionq @Moggymad @northumbrian_k @Weasell @Banjomansmate and @LynneMcV - thank you for reminding me that there are quieter shops/times than Tescos in the morning!
@Izzy - our local shops do deliveries as well. I asked them, but they wont deliver to me because neither of us are 70+ and OH is not in the priority group (because he has no diagnosis). The same problem stops me using the elderly time slot @Helly68 and most of the time slots that are added are also for priority only @nellbelles
A good thought @nae sporran , but Brighton is a bit far away. Im further east than you @annebythesea , but thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for your support @Spamar and @Woo2
@Weasell - thank you for the tips about coughing. I love your idea for wearing a hat. Actually it made me think and Im going to wear a scarf, so if I start coughing I can pull the scarf up over my mouth (well if its good enough for Donald Trump.....). It might also disguise me ;)

OK - time to see where I stashed my big girls pants
xx
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
279
I also hate going to shops. Can you order online @canary ? I've heard that smaller healthfood shops are delivering without the hoards and they will carry all the gluten free items. Also Holland and Barratt are delivering, that, combined with a veg box or even those cooking ingredient boxes, may tide you over until you can get a supermarket delivery?
 

occupied99

Registered User
Jan 3, 2020
177
I have been pleasantly surprised visiting some smaller shops for a few things,I found a small Tesco express on a housing estate and managed to find bread,eggs and sausages which I hadn't managed to find in the big store for a good month,I also visited a One Stop shop and found porridge,I don't have to cycle too far to do that and it gives me a little exercise.
I have a few bits to get but I'm mostly fully stocked at home,I could have gone for full lock down but we have 8 carers coming in anwyay,so I will go out again,I haven't been out for a week though
I have been told that some people are there for 1.5 hours before the shop opens to start queuing,I just take my chance later and some stores like Aldi and Lidl the deliveries are made during the day so it can be a case of being there at the right time rather than waiting for it to open
 

occupied99

Registered User
Jan 3, 2020
177
So can someone explain this to me because I don’t understand it.
some old people are in houses with no food because they don’t know what to do.
The government have thousands of volunteers and redeployed staff.
why don’t they set up a telephone helpline that connects people that need help, then give out the phone number on each news broadcast?
There must be a reason it hasn’t happened but I just can’t see it?
I had a piece of paper that came through the door saying "Hello,if you are self isolating,I can help"there was also a small peice of green card and a red card both the size of a playing card,I assume they came with the note,it gave a mobile number for 2 people
It says they can help pick up shopping,a friendly phone acll,posting ,ail and urgent supplies,just call or text and I will do my best to help you (for free)
I have no idea if they are the volunteers that you hear about,or perhaps it's just a helpful local couple
 
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