I’m sure by now people have begun to settle themselves into their new routines of watching an optimal eight hours of Netflix a day, as the Corona virus pandemic sweeps the nation leaving everyone on house arrest. With many Universities including our very own Saint Joseph University being subject to online classes; many students have found it fitting to run home to their mothers in fear of catching the ominous virus or even worse having to live in Philadelphia. However some have stayed near campus including myself; as these utilities aren’t gonna use themselves not to mention my hometown of New York has become absolute tire fire during these trying times.
However during these tense times I have begun to run low on supplies and decided to venture out into the real world in search. I decided to take this time to do a little investigative work and check out our once busy campus and see what stores may still have supplies for anyone still around the Saint Joseph campus.
My first instinct was to check out the local Rite Aid on City Ave as they should have everything a student riding out third horseman of the Apocalypse should need. Although Rite Aid is open 24/7 and still has most everything, they seem to be in the same boat as many superstores and lack any paper products as well as sanitation products. Although you can still get Easter candy, canned goods and condoms, the lack of paper goods is problematic when it comes to running your quarantined home.
“RiteAid empty shelf” Image taken 4/25/20 from William Smith’s Iphone.
I decided to make my way towards campus to investigate what is open and see if the campus store (The Pod) or dining hall (Campion) still had anything of value.
I made my way towards Campion and was pleasantly greeted by Antoinette Small, one of the poor Aramark employees who was assigned to work the cash register on a dead campus. I asked if I could take a peek at what Campion had to offer and was granted permission to walk around the hall. After looking around and being surprised to see good looking packaged food prepared I decided to ask Ms. Small about being on campus.
“But some people can’t afford to go home and yeah that’s understandable and they have meal plans…somebody gotta be here and feed them its only right.” Ms. Small said when talking about staying open.
After taking a few pictures and being peer pressured by Ms. Small I decided I would take a look at Convenience store; The Pod. To my surprise they still had everything! From bread to ice cream the pod was stocked. I took several minutes to look around and was surprised to see that there was still disinfectant sprays and napkins. Not quite toilet paper or paper towels but were getting closer, I can feel it.
Ms. Smalls rang me out and I paid with Declining Balance, the fanciest of apocalypse currency. I thanked her and began walking towards the building exit but noticed a little stand labeled “HawkHub”. I Was I stunned as ever as I saw free cans of soup and tampons galore! The label even said “take two”! I’m proud to inform you that your university has everyone covered.
Finally I moseyed down to 63rd street right across the street from the sophomore apartment Pennbrook. I thought I would follow a lead from fellow survivor and communications major Nicholas. Nicholas had tipped me off that both convenience stores across from Pennbrook were still well stocked and had many supplies that were of high value, and I should take a look there before venturing much further. I first stopped at “Overbook Market” and asked about paper products, “No sorry, still waiting on delivery” the cashier said grinning through the bullet proof glass.
As a last ditch effort I thought I would try informants favorite “Papi store” down the road called Bill’s Market. I have heard great things about Bill’s food and overall convenience of their convenience store. Nervously I walked into the store and began looking around. It was like these people had been living under a rock unbeknownst to the shit show that has been going on outside. All sorts of food was stacked in the shelves and isles, untouched. I was just about as shocked as my little heart could handle until I saw it. A whole shelf of toilet paper and enough soap to put “Bath and Body works” out of business, if unemployment hasn’t already.
I had found the Holy Grail; all the supplies I could ever need. After searching far and wide across all the local Saint Joseph stores Bill’s Market appears to be the place with both food and paper products.
I write article not because I am in cahoots with any of these stores but to educate Saint Joseph students who may still be around campus and may be running low on food, toilet paper and disinfectant products (let alone sanity). During times like this, it is easy to get caught up thinking about the worst but we need to remember the communities we are a part of and not forget to help each other out weather that giving a friend a phone call or lending a roll of TP.