BIZ-RETAIL-BLACK-FRIDAY-2-TB

Sales associate Rocco Sutor hands Elizabeth Hartl her curbside purchase outside Kohl's department store on Nov. 23, 2020, in Chicago.

Black Friday is almost here, and we all know what that means! 

Stop. 

Stay home. It isn’t worth it, folks.  

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, one could argue that this article could’ve ended right there.  

There are plenty of stores that are observing the obvious risks of Black Friday shopping during the current pandemic (we’ve all seen videos of stampedes and horror stories of zoo-like Walmart’s in the past).  But there are also plenty of stores that are not taking any additional precautions. 

There are all sorts of data that show that Black Friday shopping is not a good idea this year  just like Thanksgiving at grandma’s isn’t a good idea either. But instead of going through a bunch of numbers, let us remember some practical examples from this past Fall semester.

 

Mid-August: students came back to school (particularly on college campuses). 

Two weeks later: large COVID-19 spikes trigger more closings, shutdowns, and mitigations on local and state levels.  

Halloween: plenty of people stayed home and did things safely, but plenty other people did not. Election day and ensuing protests, events and demonstrations throughout the country happened a few days later. 

Two weeks later: large COVID-19 spikes trigger more closings, shutdowns and mitigations on local and state levels.  

Black Friday is just a couple days away, and there will inevitably be plenty of people braving the stores to shop in-person. 

What is Black Friday shopping for? Christmas  a holiday that’s under a month away. See the pattern? 

Nobody’s saying you can’t get your discounted TVs and PS5s.  And yes, you certainly can go out shopping all day long this Friday. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. 

Ask yourself: “Can I get these items for the same price online? Can I order these same items for contactless pickup? What’s the safest way I can do my Black Friday shopping this year?”  

It’s not a matter of political stance or being anti-large-stores or being anti-fun.  It’s a matter of your own safety, and the safety of others. The sooner this virus gets back under control, the easier all of our lives can become (provided we remain vigilant and maintain smart practices until a vaccine arrives). But we have to get there first.   

This won’t last forever, but it will only feel more like it will if we keep taking four steps backward for every one step forward.

So, if it’s at all possible  this is the year to do your shopping online, or at the very least this is the year to stay out of the stores. 

JOHN MURRAY is a News Reporter at The Vidette. He can be contacted at jwmurr1@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @Jmurr_ 


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