As Mr. Rogers tells us, when there is a crisis or emergency or when you are feeling unsafe or uncertain, just look for the 'helpers'; they are always there. This reminder serves us well. Perhaps it is something that all of us can bring to mind in coming days of the pandemic.
While that sounds like a dramatic opening to this blog entry, I can attest to the fact that during this past week of scouting out my needed groceries and recommended supplies, including a safety net of hand sanitizers and wipes, as you are shopping, you can feel the level of anxiety and stress climbing. After leaving CVS and Rite Aid empty handed when looking for rubbing alcohol having just found the recipe for making one's own hand sanitizer, I was driving away from Main Street but then gave pause as I passed the new pharmacy in town on the corner kitty-cornered to Rite Aid. Beacon Wellness Pharmacy at 333 Main Street has been open for quite a while, yet I had not gone into the store to browse what was stocked, and luckily, I haven't had the need for any prescriptions to be filled. So I hesitated a moment, but parked anyway, thinking I had nothing to lose and that perhaps this was the opportunity I had been looking for to stop in to check out the pharmacy.
When I entered, the well-spoken and handsome pharmacist, Enrique Reynoso, RPH, MBA, greeted me and responded 'yes, I do' when I stated rather than ask, 'I think I know the answer to my question, but do you have any rubbing alcohol above 60%?' I was taken aback with surprise and delight and saw there were several bottles on a shelf across from the counter. I felt lucky and asked my next question, 'any alcohol wipes', thinking of small items like the iPhone to clean off; again -- 'yes' was the response.
At this time, another customer in the store who had been listening asked 'why haven't you put a sign in the window' and the answer 'I do not want to capitalize on the situation' felt like it was the correct response and demonstrated the old-fashioned values of the store owner. The other customer had also come into the pharmacy for the first time after noting he had been to the local hardware store and had found face masks that were just delivered. I knew I would not be heading there for face masks because I had taken the advice seriously not to use them unless ill and to allow them to be available for those who may require them for work since there was such a shortage. Tough times require discernment when making choices.
I spoke to the pharmacist as I paid for my purchases, whom I decided was deserving of my respect as well as my business, and told him I would return, which I did indeed do within a few days to purchase some vitamin D3, notably a vitamin that can boost the immune system already part of my routine regimen. I purposely went to Beacon Wellness Pharmacy for that purchase and for a chance to chat a bit more and to explore the store. I knew I would return again for purchases in the future especially after inquiring about insurances accepted learning that the pharmacy does take my health insurance plan.
Food for thought: Finding a 'helper' in the community was not necessarily what I was looking for last week, but now I know another place to go for help when needed. I recommend a visit to the Beacon Wellness Pharmacy to explore your options knowing that bigger is not always better and chain stores that give coupons or bonus points are not the be all and end all when you can develop a personal relationship with a professional pharmacist who is also an entrepreneur who invests in the community. I actually found the pricing to be fair at Beacon Wellness and the variety of items to be sufficiently diverse. The experience of visiting this pharmacy (albeit a bit late) called to mind that when I first moved to Beacon, there was a small, family-owned pharmacy on Main Street that I visited, which was part of my getting to know the community (i.e., the library is always #1 on the list when moving into a different community.) The disappearance of the old independent pharmacy and its replacement with a new structure is a part of the emerging Beacon that I've witnessed over the 10 years of living in this community; another sign that property on Main Street was a good investment and has paid off in the current market. The visit to Beacon Wellness Pharmacy also reminded me of my neighborhood pharmacy when I grew up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where my mother would send me, not only to shop, but to ask the pharmacist for information, advice and direction. The pharmacist always knew the answers to important questions and would lend a helping hand for any child who appeared with a skinned knee after taking a fall when risking rollerskating on broken concrete sidewalks. So with found memories of my childhood pharmacist and knowing that a business with good values is worth supporting on Main Street, I look forward to future visits to learn more about the 'enlightened health products for body, mind and soul' that Mr. Reynoso offers in his corner of the world in Beacon!