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Salute grocery store frontline workers Clio, Simone and Quinn

Talk about being thrown in at the deep end.

Clio was hired as a cashier at Lakeview Market just as COVID reared its ugly head.

"It was surreal," she said.

"I'd never experienced anything like it. Out of the blue people were showing up in droves and stocking up on toilet paper, pasta and non-perishables. It was weird."

</who>Cashiers Quinn, left, Simone and Clio work at family-owned independent grocery store Lakeview Market at 3033 Pandosy St.

With grocery stores obviously an essential service, Clio and co-workers continued to come to work and serve customers while the rest of us were told to stay at home.

"Despite the trying times, I love coming into work everyday," said Clio.

"I'm a people person and I enjoy everyone I work with and the customers. Lakeview Market is a family-owned independent grocery store, so the vibe is different with a sense of community and loyal customers."

However, Clio has had her fair share of anti-maskers and people ready to tell their latest conspiracy theory about the pandemic.

"The key is to gently remind people that wearing a mask is mandatory and we can't serve them unless they are wearing a mask," she said.

"When people tell me the real disease is the government, not COVID, I just listen while I check their groceries out."

Now that people realize Kelowna isn't going to run out of groceries, shopping has returned to normal with the expected spike for Christmas and another coming up for New Year's Eve.

"Everyone is being pretty practical," said Clio.

"We'll all get through this."

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