It’s one thing to wait in line for an hour or longer for a popular attraction at an amusement park.
It’s another to do the same for household essentials.
But that is the current state of affairs in this country and around the world as people deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Lines have been extremely long in the early morning hours at Costco in Goleta.
That’s why Evelyn Walker of Santa Barbara doesn’t even bother.
“I think the best way to combat the long lines in the morning at Costco is to just go at another time,” she said. “I stood in line for over an hour earlier this week and thought to myself that another time has to be better than this
“I’m here at 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and I think I waited five minutes.”
There are others who have their shopping list in hand who don’t seem to mind the wait at Costco.
“I came in the morning the other day and I figured there wasn’t any reason to get angry because there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Mark Fioretti of Santa Barbara. “I can make some phone calls, chat with some other people, stuff like that. It does make the time go by a lot quicker.”
A manager at Costco told the News-Press that the store will now open at 9 a.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays the store will open an hour earlier for people 60 and over.
Other food stores and retailers are seeing lines as well, places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
But the crowds waiting to get through the front doors aren’t nearly as big as Costco, which makes it that much more manageable for most people.
“It’s not too frustrating,” said Sharon Whatley, who waited about 15 minutes to get into Whole Foods on Saturday. “It kind of is what it is. Everybody, they’re kind of all on really good behavior. They’re really thoughtful and kind.
“They give you room. It really hasn’t been a terrible experience at all.”
Ms. Whatley admitted that she’s learned a little bit more about people in general through the waiting-in-line process that she’s encountered.
“People are just a lot easier than I thought,” she said. “They’re just willing to help their neighbor, their guy in line. I think it’s gone really well in Santa Barbara.”
Rita Wu also had a good spirit about her as she waited to get into Whole Foods on Saturday.
“It’s not bad at all,” she said. “It’s just waiting.”
As for the excessive buying that many people are doing to stock their shelves and extra space at home, Wu would like to see that toned down a bit.
“I think people are panicking a lot more than they should be,” she said. “I’m not saying that this entire thing is anything less than what the news is saying, but people who are panic buying and just going out of their way to stockpile when they really don’t need it, it’s a bit much.
“You don’t need 30 bottles of soap. If we’re going to stop this, everyone needs to wash their hands, not just one person who hoards all 30 of them.”
Wu said she understands why stores have lines outside, but she maintains that it makes it tough for people to keep their distance from others.
“I think it’s a good idea to have the line, but at the same time it’s kind of counterproductive because you want the social distancing, but now there’s a line outside,” she said. “At the same time I get it, limiting the amount of people indoors in a small, confined space, it makes more sense than being outdoors like this.”
Brooke Gill showed up to a very long line at Trader Joe’s in Goleta.
“It was all the way down to Chase (bank) when we showed up,” she said. “Everyone was good, though. They were six feet apart.”