DEAR SUN SPOTS: My wife and I went grocery shopping at Hannaford on Sabattus Street during the hours set aside for seniors recently and it was a disaster. The store was so crowded and everyone was bumping into each other. They don’t seem able to do social distancing. Will Hannaford change this so it can be safer for everyone? Maybe they could have a hotline so people can call in to make an appointment to go shopping at a specific time. That way the number of people in the store can be regulated.

— Donald, no town

ANSWER: Since you wrote this letter, I do believe people have calmed down a bit and are getting more used to the idea of social distancing. The governor, along with store managers, have worked to regulate how many shoppers can be in individual stores at any given time. There are also other tactics store personnel have put into effect, such as markers on the floor and Plexiglas barriers to protect both you and the cashiers. Hopefully, all these steps are helping, but if you feel led to make other suggestions, you could ask to speak to a manager or write an email to them.

Try to keep in mind that this is an extremely stressful time for every single person. We are all learning and we all have a lot on our minds.

For a better, safer shopping experience, here are my suggestions: If at all possible, shop from home online and pick up your groceries curbside or have them delivered. If this is problematic for you, perhaps a neighbor or friend can pick up your order or shop for you.

If you must go, it’s best for only one person in your household to go in to keep the numbers down. Have a list made with items in order of where they are in the store if at all possible, and have a plan. Wear your mask and gloves, wipe down your cart, and only touch things you plan to place in that cart. Don’t waste time. Get in. Get out. Smile and be kind to others. Don’t hoard things, but get enough groceries so you don’t have to go back too often. Thank the cashiers for their service. If you see another shopper struggling, help them. Lastly, when you peel off those gloves, put them in the trash. Do not leave them in your cart or throw them on the ground.

If I’ve forgotten anything, readers, please let me know. Be kind. Be safe. Wash your hands.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for a walker with large pneumatic tires. I do have a walker already, but the hard tires vibrate so much that my hands get numb. This happens when I go on the tar roads.

I also have a large lawn that I would like to enjoy and a walker with these tires would make that possible.

— Marjorie, Mexico

ANSWER: Have you asked your health care provider for a recommendation? I do know that a company called Trionic ( makes them, but they are quite pricey. I wonder if the walker you have now could be outfitted with different tires to make it more suitable for outdoor ambling.

Remember, you have a wonderful resource at SeniorsPlus in Lewiston. The number is 795-4010. Speaking of SeniorsPlus, they can use volunteers, especially for Meals on Wheels, as they deal with an increasing number of homebound people needing help. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Deanna if you are interested at [email protected]. Think of what a blessing you would be to seniors who are along during this time of isolation. Check out to check out all the different way you can help.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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