FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – “Our motto is to help people on the path to better health,” said Eric Benefit, a store manager at CVS in Plymouth, Massachusetts. “It’s what our job is. When COVID hit, we knew what needed to do.”
While most people have stayed home to help flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic, New England Revolution season members Benefit and Paul Krystyniak have been working in essential stores to ensure that those who are staying home have the indispensable supplies they need during unprecedented times.
“We have been making sure we are taking care of safety protocols, practicing social distancing, cleaning registers appropriately and trying to stay on top of product categories people are coming in for,” said Benefit. “Hand sanitizer, paper, all that sort of stuff has had a rush on it.
“We do everything from filling prescriptions, to making sure patient insurance information is correct, and any issues they may have we try taking care of it before they get to the store.”
Benefit implemented important safety protocols for both his customers and staff as COVID-19 hit. Between adding precautions such as masks, gloves, extra sanitizer, signage reinforcing the importance of social distancing and plexiglass at registers to separate customers from cashiers, Benefit is proud of CVS and their staff for their ability to safely assist people in a time of need.
“Being able to help so many people, it’s been awesome,” said Benefit. “We had a local business in Plymouth that surprised us with lunch one day because we’ve been doing a good job.
“It makes you feel proud to be a part of the community and the work we’ve been doing. I feel really good about what the storefront has done and what we’ve done as a company.”
Likewise, Krystyniak has worked at Home Depot in Quincy, Massachusetts during the pandemic, ensuring that companies and individuals that need critical supplies while at home are able to get them.
“I work in the lumber mills materials department picking up orders and helping contractors pull orders,” said Krystyniak. “It got extremely busy because everyone was at home working.”
As part of his job, Krystyniak puts together contractor’s ‘will call’ orders so they can pick up materials with more ease and without direct contact with other people.
“Will call orders have picked up tremendously,” said Krystyniak. “I’m seeing 15-20 more orders maybe more a day than it normally is. It’s a lot. Probably maybe only 10-15 orders per day prior to COVID and then it went up to 30-35.”
While Home Depot has taken similar precautions to CVS with regards to sanitization and safety, Krystyniak urges people to continue to practice safe protocols in their personal lives as areas of the country begin to open up.
“Remember to do the proper things,” said Krystyniak. “Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay home. Take care of yourself and your family. Don’t go out shopping if you don’t really have to."
While the past few months have been a new challenge for Benefit and Krystyniak, they are both extremely excited to get back to some sense of normalcy as they watch the Revs play in the MLS is Back Tournament in July.
“I can’t wait,” said Benefit. “Once the Revs schedule came out, I made my schedule around the games. We’re going to be Zooming with some of our friends, too, so we can kind of Zoom together and we’re there watching it. We have to be patient just being able to see them play and seeing the photos. We have been looking forward to it."
“[Soccer and the Revs] takes our heads off of things,” said Krystyniak. “When they have pregame stuff we watch it too, and we can’t wait to watch [more] games.”