Going for essentials shopping during the pandemic is like going to war. So we decided that I would be the one to go out, and kids and husband would come to pick me up when I was done. On one such weekly green grocery shopping at a small Asian store, I was in the checkout line when I noticed a middle-aged man, ahead of me, who had just finished paying. He was walking out at a snail’s pace, and his upper back was curved and bent forward.
I got busy at the checkout counter, but I sensed that the store person had offered the man a stool to sit on so he could take a breather. I didn’t know what was going on; if he was tired or was there any issues with him. But I noticed that the store owner wasn’t too happy.
I paid my bill and headed out with three heavy bags. The man was still sitting, hunched, on the stool. A approached him a bit hesitantly and asked if he needed a drop. I was hesitant because it was a time of crisis in the country with thousands of cases, and we are to practice social distancing. Worse, I thought, what if he was an asymptomatic carrier? I would be risking my family in the car.
But the minute I asked, the man responded instantly saying, yes. It seemed like he was waiting for someone to ask. I requested him to wait and quickly went to the car, dropped my groceries, and appraised my husband of the situation. Then I went back and helped the man with his bags and seated him in the car. He was very grateful and said a heartfelt thank you as we dropped him off, also adding that he had Parkinson’s.