Food and the corona pandemic
How are people getting food during this pandemic? Is it safe to go to a grocery store? Will the stores have any of the food and other products we need? Which member of the family should do the shopping?
All of these and many other questions about food seem to occupy my thoughts and the thoughts of my family. It’s almost an obsession.
We had a series of family meetings to discuss how to get food during the stay-at-home period. Our first try was to get food delivered by Instacart, a grocery delivery and pickup service. We ordered food from Publix, and Instacart delivered the goods and left them outside our garage.
My mom and dad would not let either my brother or me unload the items. My dad took out the products in the garage. We then wiped the containers with a Lysol wipe. We brought the food into the house. Any food we wanted to eat right away was then placed on a separate plate. Each of us then washed our hands with soap for 20 seconds. We threw out the containers in a garbage bag and then washed our hands again.
My dad took off his clothes in the garage and threw them into the washer. He also took a shower.
After all of this, we discovered that most of the items we ordered were not delivered because there was a shortage at Publix.
We then argued about our next method. Who would go to the grocery stores and pick up the food? My dad, who is stubborn and is in the danger group because he is over 65, prevailed. He put on his mask and a pair of gloves and went to Whole Foods at 7 a.m. because the store opens an hour early for those 60 and over.
He came back with a lot of what we had ordered, but there were some complications.
He told us that he had to wait in the heat for 15 minutes with his mask on because Whole Foods opened later than promised. Other shoppers constantly bumped into him; many shoppers did not adhere to the 6-foot-distance limit.
Many of the workers did not wear gloves or masks.
We went through the same procedure when he came home as we did when Instacart delivered the food.
Our third response was to order food from a restaurant and pick it up. This proved a better process.
The Japanese restaurant had a table in front of its store, and staff brought out the food and then went back inside the restaurant. My dad, wearing gloves and a mask again, picked up the food. He brought it home and we again went through the same cleaning process.
No matter how we get the food, however, we are still nervous about eating it. We wonder whether the workers in the grocery stores and restaurants are observing processes that protect our food orders. While they claim they are, none of us can be sure.
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