This past week marked an occasion that many people have been predicting for some time: the announcement of the second wave of Covid-19 in BC.
As cases continue to rise, I ask myself how my work may be affected. We already have the required safety protocols in place, so I am not sure what else could change. Perhaps we will have to lower the number of people allowed in the store? Other than that, I do not see many changes coming soon, especially with the holiday season approaching.
Even though cases are rising, no store wants to close again when the holidays are looming. Even with the popularity of online shopping, malls continue to be crowded throughout the holidays. It seems that the mall I work at still anticipates large crowds as we grow closer to Christmas, as the mall recently announced extended hours beginning at the end of November. Since the pandemic began, my mall has only been open for eight hours a day. Beginning in November, the mall will be open for 11 hours a day, and 13 hours a day on Black Friday and Boxing Day.
This announcement worries me for a few reasons. For one, there will be even more people spending time at the mall for longer periods of time, which allows for more opportunities for Covid-19 to be transmitted. I can only imagine that cases will increase exponentially when the holidays grow close due to increased contact with families and friends on top of trips to the mall. My other concern is that these “holiday hours” will not remain temporary. My prediction is that when the holidays are over, the mall will continue to operate under holiday hours due to the economic benefits of having stores open for longer. This comes down to a battle of priorities between the safety of workers/customers and monetary gain, and I fear that money will always win that battle.