We’ve all heard the term “new normal”: masks, hand washing, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. This new way of living introduces distractions in our lives we don’t talk about much.
For example, since wearing a mask, it takes me longer to shop. While “masked up” my senses don’t function like they used to. It’s harder to recognize people (apparently, I was remembering everyone by their nose and chin) and my brain has just accepted the fact that nobody I know shops at Kroger anymore!?!? I’m glad Kroger doesn’t fine me each time I go the wrong way down an aisle. As I walk around distracted, with my senses dulled, glasses fogged, trying to social distance, I’m missing normal visual cues, and I’m more at more risk for slips, trips, and falls. By the way, I do not drive with my mask on!
So, I’m guilty of… distracted shopping.
No laws against this, so far. As a distracted shopper, I represent more of a risk to business owners than I used to — and to myself, really. For example, business owners need to be mindful of curled up corners on rugs and carpets at entryways that could cause a trip hazard. Although placed there to increase safety, they can also be a tripping point as downward peripheral vision is impaired by masks and fogged up glasses. Things like electrical cords or other items on the floor that people would normally know to avoid are now opportunities to trip. New cardboard displays at the end of an aisle could catch on a coat. Parking lots and sidewalk areas might have cracks that have emerged or elevation differences.
As individuals, we need to be more mindful of our surroundings. Business owners need to be aware that what passed as “safe” before might need to be taken up a notch! If you’re a business owner and are wondering what else may be increasing your insurance risks in this “new normal” give us a call. Let’s discuss your situation and make sure that everyone, even distracted shoppers like me are safe.