Mayhem in Montvale


Photo by Jared Mitovich

The often-crowded Shoppes at DePierro’s on September 21, 2019. Stores and restaurants at the location include Wegmans, Chipotle, and Starbucks.

Have you gone to a grocery store in Montvale recently? After a weekly trip with my mother to buy food, we couldn’t help but observe the chaos that was taking place.

Many people are panicking because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has spread across the world and infected hundreds of thousands, including over 2,000 in Bergen County alone. This has lead to people barricading themselves indoors and taking extreme precautions that are unnecessary to protect their families.

As sophomore Tess Glickman explains: “The last time I went to Wegmans, there were a lot of people buying toilet paper and water bottles. The store was sold out of toilet paper.”

People are buying toilet paper in bunches because there is no way of telling how long this outbreak will last.

Because of this, people are planning for the worst and buying items so that they are prepared for anything to happen. Although we may look at it as foolishness, we need to see how parents are trying their best to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

“It’s been very crazy lately. The workers are forced to wear gloves just so that the virus doesn’t spread,” explained Francesca Distefano, a cashier at Wegmans Food Markets.

It’s been very crazy lately [at Wegmans]. The workers are forced to wear gloves just so that the virus doesn’t spread.

— Francesca Distefano

Again: outsiders may look at this as an excess precaution, but Wegmans does not want to risk their employees becoming sick and allow for their customers to be able to spread the virus as easily. On Saturday, Montvale Mayor Mike Ghassali announced that a non-resident Wegmans employee had tested positive for the coronavirus; the last time they were on the premises was March 19.

Tommy, a cashier at a Habit Burger Bar in Montvale, said “it has been very quiet since no customers are allowed to sit down. We are only open for takeout.”

Tommy gives us an inside look at how restaurants in Montvale are working during this crazy time, and what’s different in the food industry.

“Habit now closes two hours earlier because we are told to do so by the governor; this is done to help the virus pass quicker,” Tommy explains that nowadays, restaurants’ main focus is to give their food to their customers without spreading the virus; they also follow rules to help the virus blow over.

As one can see, not only have our lives changed, but the food industry is hurting from Covid-19 because they have to follow different sets of rules, making less income and closing hours earlier than normal. During this hard time we must all work together to overcome this pandemic, to do this we must be careful with what we do outside of our house. Along with this we must limit the time we are outside of our house and choose to stay in more. At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.