BAYONNE, NJ - While the lines of customers outside Costco in Bayonne were long and getting longer a day after the state’s declaration of new restrictions on public gatherings and closing of non essential businesses, most of the customers seemed in good cheer.
The lines have become a familiar site in past days, as residents across the state, and nation, continue to grapple with the reality that their movements outside of home are limited by state order, at least until the spread of the COVID-19 virus subides.
While commerce has by and large ceased, more so following Governor Phil Murphy’s Saturday edict, some, such as stores including Costco, are said to provide essential services and allowed to remain open for business.
“Actually this gives me something to do,” said Bill Meehan of Bayonne. “I’ve looking to get some corn beef and potatoes.”
Despite the cold weather, most of the people waited patiently for their turn to go inside, as more and more grabbed shopping carts and made their way to the end of the line near the rear of the building.
The local and state orders for people to remain in their homes left many so bored that even a trip to the market served as a novel relief.
With the store limiting the number of people allowed inside the door at one time, the line extended from the front door of the building to the rear of the building with new customers coming in from the highway in waves.
“This line is short compared to the Costco in Newark where I come from,” said one Newark resident, who did not give his name. “I came here for bread and water, and whatever else we might need.” People were coming for an assortment of goods, including the always precious toilet paper and disinfectants that have been flying off the shelves of stores elsewhere.
“I’m shopping for whatever’s left,” said Bayonne resident Jean-Marie Haley.
Like many of the others on line, Larry Featherstock of Staten Island said he was a regular customer of the Bayonne Costco.
“This is a much better store than the one we have in Staten Island,” he said, adding that he had come to shop for stables such as meat and eggs. A retail salesman, he said, he had been laid off as result of the restrictions.
A Jersey City resident – who also declined to give his name – said he’d come to stock up on supplies.
“Anything we can get,” he said. Water, paper towels as well as food items filled the carts of people leaving the store.
While many people wore masks or gloves, many of those on line did not.
“The line is moving pretty quick,” said another person, half way down the side of the building. He had been there in the cold for about ten minutes. People near the front said they’d waited about 20 minutes.
“Not at all bad,” said another customer.
Overturned shopping carts help delineate the waiting area, while an employee from Costco sprayed the handles of the hundreds of shopping carts with disinfectant for customers to use.
“Busy day,” one of these Costco workers said.
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