UNITED STATES—We all have to admit the 2020 shopping season is vastly different than what we have seen in the past. Many people have switched do doing a lot of online shopping, in addition trends like store pickup and curbside pickup have become the norm in this pandemic to ensure social distancing and the safety of patrons. It leads to an even bigger question: what about Black Friday?

That is a good question and I wish I could provide you with an honest answer on the matter, but guess what America: I cannot. This is the first time in years, where I honestly have NO IDEA what many retailers plans are for the biggest shopping day of the year. For starters, Black Friday is actually happening on Black Friday for the first time in years. I mean it had become a trend where most retailers had their doors open on Thanksgiving Day, but this pandemic has led to businesses closing their doors on turkey day for their workers to spend time with their families.

Here’s the kicker though, how are retailers planning to control the massive crowds that might be headed to their stores or the mall. I have been to the mall, countless times to be honest amidst this pandemic. The one thing I have NOT seen is shopping malls place a limit on the number of people who can enter an establishment. That is something I have NOT seen, as of yet. With that said, I have seen many retailers inside those malls, limit the capacity of the number of people allowed to enter their stores. People are waiting in lines to get inside the retailer, which can be frustrating, but it actually has benefits.

How so? It seems to expedite the time frame for checking out. The lines in my personal opinion move a bit faster than if there were no lines. So in an odd turn of events, the pandemic is somewhat helping businesses be organized, the shopping experience a bit unique as you don’t have to deal with massive crowds and you get the opportunity to shop without having a ton of people hoover over you or invading all of your personal space.

At first I had a major gripe about waiting in line, but I have come to the realization that this is the new normal. It is what has to be done in order to protect all and I can either get in gear with things or resort to online shopping. I’m not the biggest fan of online shopping. I just am not, I can do it, but I’m someone who prefers to see what I’m buying, tough what I’m buying, it just makes the experience more unique to be honest. There are some things that are difficult to purchase online like clothing, kitchen utensils, furniture, home décor because you REALLY don’t know what you’re getting until you actually get it.

That is also the double edged sword about purchasing items online, once its shipped to you and it arrives at your doorstep, if you don’t like the item you have to return it and that return process can be a bit of headache. You have to ensure you have the receipt, you have to drive to the retailer, you might have to wait in line, sometimes the process can be longer than what you want it to be.

The one thing that has me really concerned is rather Black Friday will see the massive crowds that we have seen in the past. I want to say yes, but at the same time my gut tells me it will be vastly different in 2020. People might still come out, but not in the hordes like in the past. At the same time, many retailers have started their sales online and many have started their sales in stores a lot earlier than in years past.

You can get the deals pre Black Friday so you don’t have to deal with the crowds, the chaos and the stress that sometimes comes with Black Friday. Yes, it might a tradition for many families so you’re use to the crowds, but in 2020 you are dealing with a pandemic, so that changes everything America, because your health is a priority over saving a few dollars.

Written By Zoe Mitchell