It felt kind of odd to have the lobby door locked at Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy during the pandemic, observed Mark Kratzer.
“It was just a really odd situation. It’s like you were cut off, and yet you were steady because people were still getting their blood pressure medicine and everything else,” said Kratzer.
Normally he and his staff interact a lot with their customers, but all of a sudden in March 2020 that changed with the onset of the pandemic.
Though they did see their masked customers some, they didn’t have as much interaction with them as normal. Nor did they have as much interaction as the pharmacy team would wish or like. The COVID-19 circumstances made it harder to monitor their pharmacy patients, Kratzer noted.
“We expanded our delivery because people didn’t want to go out at all. Our deliveries probably increased 30 percent, if not more, because they were trying to hunker down,” said Kratzer.
The public health emergency did lead to the pharmacy providing a couple different services. Kratzer set up a test station in order for the pharmacy to administer tests checking for COVID-19 infection.
In addition, Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy began offering vaccinations once doses of vaccine became available.
They were very busy with vaccinations at the beginning, he said. One staffer had to spend all her time scheduling people for appointments.
“She did a tremendous job because it was quite a problem trying to get everybody situated and scheduled at a time that they wanted to get their shot,” the pharmacist said.
“We had people clamoring for it,” he added.
A lot of the people receiving vaccinations were new to the staff because the recipients came from elsewhere. People came here from Maineville, Lebanon and Loveland to get a shot because they were unable to get on the appointment schedules there.
“We have a store in Maineville, and they were hopping. At one time they had 800 people on their waiting list to get the shot,” said Kratzer, who has several pharmacies.
He recounted how in one case he knew the people were from another county, and he kidded with them initially that he couldn’t give shots to people from Warren County, ‘we got to keep it in the county’.
Concerning the medical injections against COVID, Kratzer said the more people who get vaccinated, the less chance there is of the coronavirus spreading.
He recalled the need to search for a supply of sanitizer and wipes before and after work during an early stretch of the pandemic.
“The biggest thing was just to try to keep everybody safe,” Kratzer said.
“Who would have thought a thing like this could happen in this day? It affected the economy so much, clear down to the paperboy,” Kratzer remarked.
During the past 12 months since Kratzer’s prior article in the News Journal’s annual Progress edition, Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy in Wilmington celebrated its 20th anniversary and Kratzer opened a Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy on Main Street in Lynchburg.
Since its opening last summer, the Lynchburg pharmacy has been getting full support from the residents of that area, he said.
The residents of the Lynchburg community are very, very grateful for the pharmacy as they otherwise would have had to travel at least 20 miles to the next pharmacy, said Kratzer.
There is a Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy in Middletown and as mentioned in Maineville, in addition to the ones in Lynchburg and Wilmington.
“I would personally like to thank all our customers who have supported all of our stores,” said Kratzer.