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    • We eat a lot of produce and most stores in our area have delivery or are served by Instacart, yada. Perfect. Heart of Silicon Valley. Yay!

      So I load up my Instacart with stuff from Costco and Nob Hill. Easy peasy. Except that at checkout they said no drivers available. Try again tomorrow. Our neighbors say that's every day.

      So I tried Amazon Fresh. No deliveries for the next two weeks. I tried Nob Hill. I could schedule a pickup on April 4th or delivery on April 7th — about two weeks out.

      We have oranges on the tree and greens in the garden without other produce? Put on latex gloves and the mask we've had forever and go in briefly? What would you do?

    • I had the same problem ordering on Instacart and Amazon Fresh. After about 30 minutes of browsing and adding groceries to my cart, I hit the "checkout" button and saw the super long delivery time estimates. So I gave up on the online grocery shopping until the pandemic is over.

      I still needed to get fresh groceries, so I thought of shopping at Costco. I usually don't dare to go there on weekends: too crowded, long lines, and supplies run low. However, a friend of mine texted that she shopped at Costco that morning crowd-free and got most of what she needed.

      So I pandemic-proofed myself and went to Costco. Respirator, glasses, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Maybe too much, but why risk it?

    • The fresh produce aisles at Costco were well stocked. No crowds. Perhaps even the least amount of people I've seen shopping there.

    • I went overboard and filled up the shopping cart to the edge. Over a week ago, right before the lockdown, I missed out on getting fresh produce. It was gone before I got there.

    • The effort of pandemic-proofing myself was too much of a hassle to go through every few days. So I bought enough for two weeks for three people and some extra for my brother's family to pick up later in the week.

    • We had used Amazon Prime just for convenience from time to time in the past. They deliver from one of the best markets in Madrid, so quality is no problem if you can afford it--it's an expensive market to start with and Amazon puts about a 20% markup on everything. But delivery is the bottleneck now. They only open delivery slots a day in advance. Getting one is like getting a ticket to a Lady Gaga concert--once they become available, everyone keeps hammering on the server and they are gone in minutes. We have been lucky enough to get through three times in the past two weeks, but it's pretty stressful. I start trying several days before I think it will be needed, and so far the strategy has worked. Like most people in Spain, we're used to just-in-time shopping of fresh foods, so we don't have the big refrigerator/freezer that most Americans have. So far, we haven't really had to change our eating habits much, but I doubt that's going to last.

    • I've gotten 2 Amazon fresh deliveries, the first was last week and flawless but the second one yesterday had a bunch of issues with them not knowing when it was actually delivered and notifying me an hour after (even warning me that it was late after it was already here) and multiple items being wrong. I totally get it because they're under a huge strain right now but just be aware of these things if you use it.

    • I would probably go to the store.

      Sometimes being older is a good thing. I've been taking advantage of senior opening time at both Stop & Shop (open to seniors an hour and a half before full open) and my local Whole Foods (open to seniors an hour before full open). The grocery store was still a bit crazy but Whole Foods was not - and since that's where I usually buy produce I will use the early morning time to restock again.

      My sister has had pretty good luck with both delivery and with having her order picked for pick up at the store. She said she is needing to set her delivery / pick up time days in advance though.

    • Things seem to be getting better. Rice, flour, etc. still are hard to get but a lot of other things are available now and there are easy to get delivery times 2 days out. I'll probably give it another shot next week.

    • The county government of Alachua County, Florida requires stores to not allow more than 1 customer per 1000 square feet. Those who want to buy groceries stand outside in a line which has markings every six feet to indicate how far apart the gap should be between those who are waiting to enter. Ironically, this means that the density per square foot is greater while waiting to enter than it is in the store.