Coronavirus outbreaks may be leading to something I’ve been waiting for: the end of reusable bags. Stores are rolling out policies against them as it becomes clearer that this new coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours to days. This means those kitschy fabric totes that have become so popular for carrying groceries and other goods are suddenly disease vectors, spreading germs just when we need that the least.
Plastic grocery bags aren’t just convenient for carrying groceries. In a time when items fly off the shelves faster than many of us can get them, grocery bags also double as tiny trash bags, helping keep homes clean. This is far from the only use for these bags, especially during this time of rolling shortages.
When I was younger I worked in home health care, and one of the families I enjoyed helping was a lovely elderly lady who had lived through the Great Depression. She saved everything. Everything had