Why Delivery And Curbside Pick-Up Might Not Be Good Idea During Pandemic


Like many people in Wisconsin, and as data is now showing also around the nation, many ‘hunkered down’ prior to state orders to do so.  We saw the storm coming and took appropriate measures, such as stocking the pantry, so to reduce the need to interact with others during the pandemic. We valued our health, and also understood our community role so as to reduce the ability of the virus to travel.

The severity of the pandemic and the economic catastrophe are double disasters.  As I write our nation has over 72,000 COVID-19 deaths and a predicted unemployment rate come Friday of 16%.  Many are wishing to see the economy re-start, while others understand that data and medical advice are the best routes to make sure the virus is not allowed to spike in ways that create needless deaths, and new infections that overwhelm hospitals.

We have been told local restaurants are hurting financially and that some will never again reopen.  We know that many workers in the industry are struggling.  As such, during this pandemic, we all have been repeatedly asked to call for home delivery, or for curbside pick-up.  As for this home, and as much as we feel for those impacted, we just have concerns about the safety factor of take-out food at this time.  That is not an unreasonable frame of mind.

And for good reason.

Last week a long-time couple (in their 30’s) walked to a Madison restaurant to pick-up their food order.  They wore masks,  as all medical advice shows to be prudent, but when at the counter met a disdainful attitude from the worker.  Why the masks was the question from the one passing along the food?

This is very concerning to me.

First, for anything other than genuine words of appreciation to customers for coming in to spend money during a pandemic is shocking on its face.

But it is the second reason that hits home to this post.

To not have an appreciation for why a person would wear a mask during a pandemic is especially troubling when coming from a food worker.  If there is such an easy dismal of others being safe it is a sure sign the worker is not taking seriously the repeated medical advice about this virus. They are making food for others to eat at a time they are being flippant about what is required to be safe.

Yeah, sign me up for multiple food orders.

The number of people wearing a mask, who pass along my corner on the isthmus, is slim.  Many of those disregarding science are in their 20’s and not adhering to self-distancing.  And I suspect some of them work in the food industry.

While there is a desire among some to gin up the economy quickly it needs to be said business is only viable if there are customers.  Before folks again turn out in the numbers needed to make an eatery financially stable there has to be faith that it is a safe thing to do.

If food workers do not take the safeguards to ward off the virus in their daily life they can not expect patrons to again flow into restaurants.

And so it goes.