No Mask? No Problem! Look who I ran into in a local supermarket among a sea of masked shoppers?

No Mask? No problem!

My family was traveling to the Thousand Islands area for a week of vacation by Lake Ontario. We had the chance to stop in a local supermarket on our way through Pennsylvania, where COVID-19 is still a looming concern for every traveler and shopper. For many public indoor spaces, including restaurants and supermarkets, it’s mandatory to wear a mask. The pandemic seems to have come back with even more cases since public re-openings on July 4th.

In Aisle 22, among a sea of masked shoppers, I ran into this giant figure: towering over everything at about 7 feet in height. When I got close, I discovered that this guy didn’t wear a mask. Without his big mouth covered, this guy (well maybe this gal) was unapologetically waltzing down the aisle with a huge smile, sliding smoothly through men, women and children around. Checking items on each shelf. Scanning inventory. Smiling, most definitely.

I ran into a giant robot working in a local Giant supermarket.

It’s scary. I would avoid it.

A gentleman walked right past us: me and a hard-working robot. He tried to avoid this looming 7-footer at work and almost ran into me by accident.

“It’s scary, isn’t it? I would try to avoid it any way.”, he said.

Then I notice that he may be one of the employees in the supermarket.

I could sense in his sarcastic tone that he honestly didn’t want to see this robot taking care of this isles. After all, it has taken the job from at least one employee. During a pandemic, this quite efficient and smiling machine, might be an unwelcome sight to some.

When we are not sure and afraid, we try to avoid it.

But for how long?

We may respond the same way when we face a technological advancement that sneaks into our midst without a proper introduction.

The current pandemic has sped up the incorporation of new technologies into our daily lives and jobs - whether we like it or not.

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