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'Siberian' dumplings and alcohol: how the Russian store in New Jersey lives during quarantine

Most stores and other establishments are closed in New Jersey due to an outbreak of coronavirus, but a small Russian grocery store is still operating and is afloat. How does the "immigrant" store live in this difficult time, as described in the video "Voices of America".

Pensioner Alesandr Dranov understands that he is at risk and now he rarely leaves the house - only when the weather is good or he wants something tasty.

“I don’t make stocks and don’t buy anything for future use. First of all, because the stores are open, if something is interrupted, then this is not a reason to recruit more than necessary, ”says the pensioner.

If on the corner of the house for 20 years without interruptions the only shop with native food has been working, there is no point in panicking.

“We have more people now than on New Year's, I have never seen anything like this before. We work for 3 people instead of 2. There is a lot of work, delivery is constantly happening. They dared buckwheat, there was no canned food left, this week we bought 20 boxes of dumplings, everything was dismantled in a day. Business goes on, ”says student salesman Danila Korolev.

The Siberia store is one of those 3% of small businesses that cannot be closed - it is vital - only instead of 12 hours it is now open 10, the owner had to increase the number of employees and make sure that the deliveries are not disrupted.

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“People have to eat something. I understand when hairdressing salons are closed, you can do without a haircut for a month or a month and a half or even two, but you cannot do without food, ”says store owner Dmitry Shtark.

It’s difficult to observe a distance of 2 meters by 40 square meters, but giant stores also look spacious only along the vertical of empty shelves. The queue at Costco begins at the front door and ends in about 40 minutes of airborne exchange of emotions.

“People have become more nervous, angry, unrestrained. It seems that people were absolutely not ready for this, and all the Soviet genes that had been sleeping in us for a long time suddenly woke up abruptly, ”says Stark.

For a person with Soviet genes, comfort food is dumplings, buckwheat and alcohol, now not only for ingestion.

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“If you wipe the surfaces constantly, then most likely nothing will happen to you. We got out of the car, rubbed our hands, and everything will be fine. The worst place in the car is the steering wheel, where we bring a lot of germs. I wipe it every day and every day the napkin is dark. If someone does not have hand sanitizer, you can just use alcohol and not necessarily vodka, and whiskey will do, and tequila. Better this way than nothing, ”says customer-dentist Boris Kaplun.

Dentist Boris Kaplun stopped by for groceries after a shorter shift, his small business is also holding on, his patients' teeth are still more worried than coughing. But no one can be sure that the daily news reports on the growing number of infected COVID-19 will not affect them personally.

“Every morning you go to war, we are among a large number of people, it is not known which of them will bring the infection,” says the store owner.

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