Manitoba

Garage sale shoppers keep their distance as relaxed public health orders allow summertime staple

Brenda Galminas wanted to be one of the first people in Winnipeg to have a garage sale after public health orders were lifted. And on Saturday, she made sure to clean everything and have plenty of hand sanitizer stocked up before welcoming people into her garage.

Hand sanitizer, face masks now common practice at some Winnipeg garage sales

Brenda Galminas said she made sure she thoroughly cleaned everything before the sale and had plenty of hand sanitizer for people to use as they walked through her garage on Saturday. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Brenda Galminas wanted to be one of the first people in Winnipeg to have a garage sale once public health orders were lifted to allow for bigger public gatherings. And on Saturday, she was.

"I kept listening to when we could have it," she said. "I wanted to be one of the first to have one so I could have the best crowd."

On her driveway on Saturday, Galminas said at least 60 people had already come by her garage sale, some wearing face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

She said she also made sure she thoroughly cleaned everything before the sale and had plenty of hand sanitizer for people to use as they walked through her garage. And when it got a little crowded, people would wait their turn to get inside so there was enough room for everyone to stay distanced from each other.

"People were really happy to have a garage sale. Some people were saying, 'This is our hobby in the summertime,'" she said. "It's been good fun."

While public health orders now allow outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people, it's still important to respect physical distancing at second-hand sales, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said as Manitoba prepared to relax more restrictions a few weeks ago.

Frank Rietze said going to garage sales on weekends is one of his hobbies. On Saturday, he had already gone to another sale before getting to Galminas's house.

He said COVID-19 is still a real threat, but people at the sales are taking precautions to make sure they're not helping it spread.

Frank Rietze said it’s hard to imagine a summer without garage sales. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

"It can be a dangerous thing. But you just keep away," he said. "There's not too many people really coming out yet, but when they do you just stay your distance."

Holding a checkers set drinking game under his arm in Galminas's driveway, Rietze said it's hard to imagine a summer without garage sales.

"I like these things. You can sometimes pick up some things that are totally different than what you normally get," he said.

With files from Walther Bernal

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