Protests: Curfews are making it harder for Americans to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions
Protestors crowd outside a Target store in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Storyful
Natalia Castro felt “extremely anxious” when the CVS Pharmacy near her 真人百家家乐官网网站home was abruptly shuttered on Tuesday, the day after protests broke out a few blocks away near the White House.
On the hunt for her prescription medication, she walked to four CVS locations in the area. All were boarded up and closed during normal operating hours.
“Panic immediately set in,” the 23-year-old said. “If I can’t get my medication, what am I going to do?”
As protests against police brutality linger across the country, people across America are having a harder time getting the essentials they need when stores they depend on abruptly board up. It’s hard to know what’s reopening the next day when there are plywood panels over shop windows. And as curfews set in and grocery stores curb hours, it's becoming more cumbersome to shop just as states were starting to reopen.
Pulled over while connected: Siri can quietly video record the police
Gina Meester, 31, placed a curbside pickup order at Target on Tuesday, but when she got to the store to grab the supplies, the location was closed, with shopping carts pushed up to the doors.
“I get that you need to close early to make sure workers get 真人百家家乐官网网站home ahead of curfews, but it was at least two hours before curfew,” Meester said. She was hoping to pick up supplies for protesters in Louisville, Kentucky, as people rally and protest for racial equality.
She said she had received a push notification that her order was ready.
“It was annoying that the app was like, ‘Hey I’m bringing out the order,’” Meester said. “Um, no you’re not. No one is here.”
Target said over the weekend that more than 100 stores nationwide would be closed after violent protesters ransacked some of its locations. Those and the more peaceful rallies were spurred by George Floyd’s recent death in police custody.
“We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing communities across the country,” Target said in a statement. “At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores. We anticipate most stores will be closed temporarily.”
The locations that remain open for business have to follow local guidelines when curfews are established.
Patty Sarrels, 51, placed a pickup order at a Target in Phoenix, but was surprised to find the parking lot empty when she arrived during normal business hours.
“I fully support the protests that are happening,” Sarrels said. She blames the confusion on conflicting curfew guidance that allows some businesses to remain open while patrons are urged to stay at 真人百家家乐官网网站home.
There are currently curfews cutting off business hours in parts of South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Colorado, California and New York. Cities in Arkansas, Missouri and Pennsylvania also have set limits to keep people from protesting, looting and rioting after dark, though some have defied those rules.
New York City imposed a late-night curfew Monday that failed to prevent another night of destruction, including arrests after a break-in at the iconic Macy's store on 34th Street, following protests over George Floyd’s death. (June 2) AP Domestic
On Monday evening, Julius Gordan dropped by a Food for Less supermarket in North Hollywood, California, to pick up ground turkey for burgers. But the store was closed and the parking lot was empty when it would usually be open, he said.
“I was tired of the food in my house,” Gordan said. “If I didn’t have any food in the fridge, I wouldn’t be able to eat until stores opened back up the next day. That kind of sucks.”
Vanessa Jean in Philadelphia had a similar experience Tuesday when a staple grocery store was boarded up after protests tore through the city over the weekend.
“I had to go to a little corner store to grab food there instead,” said Jean, a 26-year-old teacher's aide. “But right after I got there, a police officer came in and said it has to close before curfew.”
How to know when stores are open or closed
If the retailer has a website, you can check in advance to make sure your local store is open. Target, for example, listed the stores that are closed after protests broke out. Other big chains like CVS, Apple and Walmart have temporarily closed or limited hours at some locations for safety reasons, so it's best to call ahead.
Amazon said that it's following local curfews that have required people to remain off the streets after a specified hour at night, which could have implications for operating hours at your local Whole Foods.
Many local curfews include limitations for other grocery stores, which Americans relied on more than ever during the pandemic as virtually everywhere else was shut down in most of March and April to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.