Shutdown Fish Shopping Ethics

Sorg67

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In Florida, pet stores are exempt from the shut down. This is due to the need to buy foods and care supplies for pets.

However, it creates a shutdown loophole. My LFS is open and receiving shipments of new fish and plants. I am tempted to do some re-stocking and re-scaping during the shutdown. But I know buying fish and plants is not what was in mind when pet stores were given an exemption. It was to provide access to supplies needed to care for existing pets.

So would it be unethical for me to use this loophole to go fish shopping? I would say yes. It is important for us all to understand and adhere to the spirit of the shutdown not just the letter of the law. We should all limit our movements as much as possible. Each of us is a possible asymptomatic carrier and we each might unknowingly spread infection. Even if we are not a carrier, going out risks infection and risks contribution to spread.

Still tempting to give myself something to do.
 

mattgirl

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Personally I wouldn't consider it unethical at all but that may just be me. Just be careful out there and be aware of the folks around you. Be sure to also buy necessary fish supplies while you are there. :) I am sure the folks at the fish store will be happy to have a customer if they have to stay open anyway.
 

FishGirl38

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I just want to say I appreciate you. This is the reason our pet store in OH is closed right now. Because even though there was an order to stay home, we were still just as busy as we always are - more busy actually. People are still coming in to buy NON ESSENTIAL things, on purpose. Had a lady complain to me about everything going on while I was bagging up her clownfish and anemone. and while it might be okay for one person to go, when everyone decides to do the same thing all after they get out of work at 3pm and our fishroom is packed with people AND children who are not following the 6ft rule and are touching everything they can put their hands on....Its a great risk.

and I'm also going to state, I'm not sure the nature of the store you're talking about, but I know at my store, all of our employees were getting VERY frustrated with the amount of people out and about when they were only supposed to be out for essential reasons. We're not happy to help customers who are basically breaking rules. I mean, its our job so of course were going to serve you with a smile but....if you do not need to go out at this time than we should all stay home.
 

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I personally have ordered some fish (not going into a LFS), but I have gone into tractor supply to pick up some chicks, so that’s in the same vein. I wouldn’t say it’s unethical as long as you are safe: Stay at least six feet from people, wear gloves (being conscious of the fact that once you touch stuff those gloves are potentially contaminated), disinfect what you buy before you go inside your house, make sure the trip is just in and out, etc. you know it all I’m sure.
If you go out and browse for an hour, touch stuff you don’t intend to buy, don’t follow safety precautions, etc. I’d say that is unethical and irresponsible. Because that stuff is nonessential.

Alternatively you could do what I did and order online. That way you can still work on what you want, but without going out yourself. just be sure to disinfect your packages just like anything else
 

FishGirl38

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and I just want to clarify, the last part of what declaw said, is what people were doing at my store. Bringing their kids in to shop the fishroom for an hour, touching items and not purchasing them, I actually had 1 man touch me....not staying 6ft apart, having children with coughs walk through the store etc. so long as you're appropriate about it, its fine.
 

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A lot of businesses that are still open here handle things a few ways. Some, won't sell you non essential items off the shelves, you can buy them online and pick up at the curb, though. I'm considering this myself as I'm getting close to begin stocking my tank (started cycling before any shelter in place stuff started), and just don't want to pay overnight shipping costs for 10 not rare tetras. Also debating grabbing a pair of 20 long tanks from petco before their dollar per gallon sale is done.

Edited to add: I would do the curbside pickup, I wouldn't go into a store right now if I can avoid it.
 

kansas

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I think we should stay home if at all possible. I'm less worried about my health than I am about passing it to somebody else before I have symptoms.
 

QCAquaholic

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I went by a few LFS over the weekend. One of them only let you walk to the counter but nowhere else in the store. There was no pet purchasing. One only let two customers in at a time and did allow fish buying. I got a girlfriend for my golden wonder killifish. Another one had the door locked with a sign asking you to call them and ask them to check on items. If they had it they'd let you go to the counter only. The big LPS's all were business as usual.
 

mattgirl

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FishGirl38 said:
I just want to say I appreciate you. This is the reason our pet store in OH is closed right now. Because even though there was an order to stay home, we were still just as busy as we always are - more busy actually. People are still coming in to buy NON ESSENTIAL things, on purpose. Had a lady complain to me about everything going on while I was bagging up her clownfish and anemone. and while it might be okay for one person to go, when everyone decides to do the same thing all after they get out of work at 3pm and our fishroom is packed with people AND children who are not following the 6ft rule and are touching everything they can put their hands on....Its a great risk.

and I'm also going to state, I'm not sure the nature of the store you're talking about, but I know at my store, all of our employees were getting VERY frustrated with the amount of people out and about when they were only supposed to be out for essential reasons. We're not happy to help customers who are basically breaking rules. I mean, its our job so of course were going to serve you with a smile but....if you do not need to go out at this time than we should all stay home.
Thank you for sharing what is happening in the store you work in. You made some very good points and mentioned things I hadn't thought about before posting my original post. I can see where it could get bad if everyone decided to come at the same time and weren't doing their part in this mess.
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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My LFS is promoting their new stock on their facebook page. I considered the possibility of placing an order by phone and asking for curbside pick up. I had pictured my LFS as empty. But now that I think about it, maybe they are doing a booming business if they are one of the few store open. I would not want to walk into or contribute to an environment described by FishGirl38
 

FishGirl38

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mattgirl said:
Thank you for sharing what is happening in the store you work in. You made some very good points and mentioned things I hadn't thought about before posting my original post. I can see where it could get bad if everyone decided to come at the same time and weren't doing their part in this mess.
Granted, the times that happens is 3pm, and 5pm but with the size of the store, its real easy for customers to break the rules as applied by the CDC right now and the owners felt it'd be safer to close. Now, as of now we're scheduled to open on the 6th. I haven't heard anything from my superiors in means of policy changes but...if they don't come up with any and still expect us to open business as usual, I plan to write up some changes for consideration, and if they're not considered I'm fine being unessential until this blows over. I've got a 45yr old mom who's smoked since she was 13, I don't need to bring this home to her.

Sorg, if you're being responsible about your actions and you're conscious of the fact that the virus could be on anything in the store than you should be safe to walk in...its not the conscious, considerate people like you who should have to worry about going into the store, but the scenario I mentioned has happened other places and you could be subjecting yourself to that - to the people who just don't care. Its possible your LFS has been more responsible than mine in stopping the bad behavior I've described. Just please stay safe and carry alcohol wipes/sanitizer if you have em.
 

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A LFS in my area is being more creative offering free local delivery as well as curb side pickup. You can call your order in and they will deliver it to your home or meet you in the parking lot.

Or if you want to come in they are limiting numbers and I think discouraging people from hanging out. While I think it may push the line on what’s essential I bought some fish recently only because I know the LFS don’t have the backing the chainstores do so I want to help ensure they will be there when things settle down!
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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Considering placing an order by phone and paying for it. Then driving to LFS, popping the trunk and asking them to put supplies in the trunk. Then I could disinfect when I get home.

OTOH, I think my LFS is actively taking advantage of the loophole and I am not sure I want to encourage / reward that.

OTOOH, I think small businesses are really going to struggle to survive and keep their employees on the payroll over the next few months and I like the idea of supporting their efforts to support their employees.....

Aaaaarrrrrrggggg........ ethics are sooooo complicated..... :confused:
 

mattgirl

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Sorg67 said:
Considering placing an order by phone and paying for it. Then driving to LFS, popping the trunk and asking them to put supplies in the trunk. Then I could disinfect when I get home.

OTOH, I think my LFS is actively taking advantage of the loophole and I am not sure I want to encourage / reward that.

OTOOH, I think small businesses are really going to struggle to survive and keep their employees on the payroll over the next few months and I like the idea of supporting their efforts to support their employees.....

Aaaaarrrrrrggggg........ ethics are sooooo complicated..... :confused:
I do understand all your points. If we can help the small business that are going to be hurt by this I think we should. I would go with your first thought. It will be helping them without exposing yourself or others to the danger.
 

Cody

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It is tough because obviously nobody needs fish right now. Only food or other equipment necessary to run your tanks are all you could really justify a need for.

But if there is a means for you to protect yourself and others and keep expiate minimum while preserving local business I think you can justify purchases.

It’s more of the people going out because they can that you can argue are causing issues.

Either way, wash your hands and don’t touch your face!
 

EmiliyaCossack

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PetSmart and Petco have stopped live shipments of fish for this very reason, since they are technically not essential, which actually I applaud. A different local fish store is still getting shipments but I think they're only allowing a limited amount of people in and they have limited their hours. The local fish store next to me is open for a limited amount of hours but only does curbside pickup. You have to call ahead and order what you want. If you know what kind of fish you want, they will bag it for you and meet you on the curb. I felt like these were all really really good ways of keeping their stores open but following the rules. I am proud of all of them!
 

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Our local LFS have limits on the number of people allowed into the store at all times. I’ll admit I have purchased fish during this, on one hand feel really guilty for it and on the other want to help them because their normal volume of customers has declined... However, the numbers of COVID+ in my area has risen, so we are going to lay low now, it’s just not worth the risk. Also working in a hospital myself, now that we are caring for these patients, I’m QT’d. I don’t have symptoms, but I def have exposure now. I start helping out at a sister hospital this weekend that has been designated for COVID patients, so my tank growth is on an indefinite hiatus. I’ll be at work or underground from here on out.
 

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I'm struggling with this myself. My area hasn't been hit hard yet, only a few cases in my small town, but I also want to support my one LFS, if they go under, there is only Petco. But I certainly wouldn't enter if it looks busy. I'm considering calling in an order, but I pay cash so I'd have to go in at least to pay.
I'm a yearly germophobe anyways, we had the flu one year and scared us into better awareness and cleaning practices.

I'd really like to start a new tank as well, which requires entering stores, and this tank is for the mental stimulation for my aging father in law, who would literally gaze at the tank all day. I think it would be beneficial for him but at the same time SO risky to get it. I was planning on setting up the whole thing in my house to get it cycled, then moving it next door to his house.

But at the same time, I'd be risking exposure for myself and ultimately him as well since I take care of him. But then on the other hand he needs more mental activity, he doesn't watch TV, watches an occasional movie, but usually looks out a window at traffic. When he's in my house he sits at the aquarium, the whole time. I know he'd love his own, and I can certainty do all the maintenance for him. I would just give him our tank (kids tank), but it's glow fish with sponge Bob decorations, I'm thinking he'd appreciate something else...
 
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Sorg67

Sorg67

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KSo said:
Also working in a hospital myself, now that we are caring for these patients, I’m QT’d. I don’t have symptoms, but I def have exposure now. I start helping out at a sister hospital this weekend that has been designated for COVID patients, so my tank growth is on an indefinite hiatus. I’ll be at work or underground from here on out.
Thank you for your service
 

KSo

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Sorg67 said:
Thank you for your service
We are all trying our best to do what we have to in order to flatten that curve, as they say, so from the frontline thank you!
 

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