Our senior citizens are the most at-risk demographic during the fearsome coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, those over the age of 70 and with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, disease of the heart, lung or kidney and weakened immune systems are most likely to contract the disease. Just consider what happened at the Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington state. Twenty-five people who became infected with the virus at the nursing facility have died. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom took drastic measures to direct all seniors to stay home if possible.
But the outbreak, while scary and unpredictable, has revealed the big heart of many of our communities. In a beautiful way to cater to the elderly, several stores are opening an hour early to allow older customers to shop for their necessities first, before the younger crowds arrive.
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, our first hour of operations will be dedicated to our senior shoppers. All stores will also close an hour earlier in order for employees to clean and restock shelves. Learn more about these change here: https://t.co/53rc2gMeVr— Dollar General (@DollarGeneral) March 17, 2020
"Beginning tomorrow, Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus," the retailer announced. "In keeping with the Company’s mission of Serving Others, Dollar General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods."
Similar "senior hours" are beginning to pop up all around the country.
#FOODTOWN SENIOR HOUR: Houston-area Food Town stores will begin offering 'Senior Hour' for shoppers 65+ to make sure they get everything they need. #coronavirus ?????? https://t.co/nMsYxruqpW pic.twitter.com/xBeXrFDCN6— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) March 16, 2020
Several senior shoppers have been taking advantage of their dedicated hours.
A busy morning full of senior shoppers here at Food Town on Fondren in Houston. Just one of their many locations dedicating the first hour of each day to senior shoppers as a way to help #StopTheSpread of the #coronavirus. More: https://t.co/h4zOQcbML2 pic.twitter.com/keKB14XEEJ— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) March 17, 2020
As leaders and health experts have been consistently trying to drive home, one of the best ways younger generations can protect the elderly is to stay home these next two weeks.