WINSTED, MN Some Winsted workers have been putting in the hours and endeavoring to serve the masses as locals respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
At Glenn’s SuperValu, Jordan Kuck said the sheer number of people coming through the doors each day has been incredible. He lists Tuesday, March 17 as an example. That day saw 925 people come through the grocery store about three to four times the normal rate.
Keeping employees in communication, and work schedules coordinated has also been a bit of challenge, but Kuck said the employees have been real troopers. Kuck said the business is doing all it can to keep employees fed and hydrated.
Short-term, Kuck said they are focused on getting produce out and on the shelves for customers.
The business has considered closing early or opening later to have time to get groceries stocked.
After the store closes in the evening, staffers have been using a commercial grade food- safe cleaner to sanitize baskets, carts, and other surfaces.
Kuck said he is working 16-hour days to keep up with everything that needs to get done.
He ruefully said that just over a week ago he joked about how good the pandemic might be for business. The next day, about 4 p.m., he noticed the first uptick in customers.
Kuck said he may be tired, but he’s OK with it.
“Our employees are trying their best,” he said. “Customers have been extremely polite, too. Everyone has been coming in with smiles a few even said they’re praying for us.”
Erika Terwey, who works at Glenn’s, confirmed it had been a couple of crazy days. She said personally, she is trying to ignore the pandemic situation. She has three children, ages nine, 12, and 14, and said she has been more strict with handwashing with them.
Further down the street, Keaveny Drug employees said they have been busy, too.
Owner Deborah Keaveny began offering drive-up service for customers Wednesday.
Personally, she said the pandemic situation concerns her. “I watch more news than I should,” she said.
Amy Johnson, a Keaveny employee, said she hasn’t been able to visit her grandmother, who lives in a care facility and has Alzheimer’s disease, for two weeks. Johnson said she and her aunt are her grandmother’s primary caretakers, and are worried about when they might next be able to visit in person.
Johnson said her routine has been changed by the pandemic, indicating she goes to work, and then straight home these days. The more fun stuff, bingo, Vegas night, have been postponed. “We can’t do those right now,” she said, “we don’t get that stress relief.”
Pam Johnson, also a Keaveny Drug staffer, said she is trying to not let the pandemic situation bother her. “It’s all you hear about,” she said.
Johnson said that when she was out and about the previous weekend, she noticed a marked increase in sanitation. “It’s the cleanest it’s ever been,” she said.