From the first moment you talk with Dana Rae, you find she’s quite the character. Her personality is kindhearted with a twist of mischief. All in good fun.

But when it comes to the pandemic, she offers some serious advice, as someone working on the frontlines of the pandemic at the LDF Country Market.

“Young people think they’re invincible,” Dana Rae says. “I want them to know how serious the problem is. I want them to know there’s an opportunity for all of us to do our part to help keep the community safe—including our young people.”

As a cashier, she sees some shoppers entering the store asking to re-use another person’s mask as they leave the store. They risk infecting themselves if they re-use a mask, she says, and then the virus spreads from there.

Dana Rae has worked four years at the LDF Country Market. This last year is by far the strangest.

In addition to helping people check out and pay for their items, she is responsible for keeping things clean and people safe as possible. With flu season coming soon, she says it’s more important than ever to mask up, wash hands, and social distance.

“As the weather turns colder, you don’t know if it’s allergies, colds or something else,” she says. “There are lots of people sneezing and coughing now. All the more reason to wear a mask. It’s just a new way of doing things until we get through this pandemic.”

She says most people wear masks without reminders when they enter the store. But there’s a few, she says with a chuckle, who still need a gentle reminder to mask up.

“We’re all human and we learn how to adapt to different situations,” she says. “It’s not easy sometimes, though.”

Taking her temperature every day before work starts has been an adjustment that all LDF Country Market employees have adopted. They all work to do extra cleaning of carts and baskets and other high-touch areas too. All of this extra effort may not be completely known by shoppers, she says, but there are plenty of shoppers who say thank you for working during the pandemic. That feels good, she says, it’s nice of them to do it.

“For now, there are many unknowns on the full impact of the virus,” Dana Rae says. What are the after-effects on people’s organs? How will it impact others with compromised immune systems and other vulnerabilities? We just don’t know yet, so let’s do what we can based on what we know now to keep each other as safe as possible.”