So many things have changed in how we live our lives in the time of COVID. It’s been a year since it all began in earnest and, despite the vaccines, nothing has really gone back to normal.

Even small tasks have a layer of “more difficult” on them ... such as buying a new handheld vacuum cleaner. My little handheld vac began dying after just a short time. I tried to baby it along, but now even with a full overnight charge, it only runs for 42 seconds before it quits again and wants another long charge. Used to be I’d go off to a local store, examine several possibilities and buy one.

This time I went online, where thousands of selections awaited me, as well as hundreds of reviews for each item. I changed the list to lowest price first. I changed the list to most popular. I searched for only the manufacturer of my current handheld vac. It didn’t help. Here are some things I learned along the way.

If you’re faced with making a purchase online and are hit with too many choices, call your local stores and ask what they recommend. Then look up the item online. If an item description (such as for a big fry pan) says it weighs 5.2 pounds, take your current fry pan into the bathroom and weigh it on your scale for comparison.

If you want new shirts and the sizing chart online is iffy, order more of what you already have, but in different colors. The end result of this saga is that I purchased the same brand and model as my current vacuum. If nothing else, I know it will last approximately 2.5 years, which is right after the warranty expires. But at least I’ll know what to expect while it works.

Senior News Line © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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