POST PANDEMIC REALITY
If I Never See These Things Again After Covid, I Won’t Be Sad
There has been a lot of tragedy associated with the pandemic. So many have been sickened. So many have died. So much has changed, and it is hard to see a future that will even remotely resemble “going back to normal.”
That said, there is a small silver lining to the incredibly large dark cloud. The pandemic has rid us of some things that I hope we will never see again.
It’s hot. You’re thirsty. And there is no convenience store nearby to buy a bottle of water. Or, you are at an amusement park, and the bottles of water are $6.00, and you refuse to buy one on principle.
So, the water fountain beckons. If you’re lucky, it’s cold, and water is condensing on its side. It’s readily available, and it’s free; all you can drink. I have succumbed to the temptation innumerable times. As a young child, I’d put my mouth right up against the spout. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned how to slurp the half-oval shaped column of water efficiently into my mouth for maximum thirst-quenching.
The pandemic has forced many establishments to shut down water fountains, and I say, good riddance. They are unclean, touched by literally thousands of people, unsanitized between uses, and have billions of water-borne bacteria lurking everywhere. I think the water bottle filling stations are perhaps a little better, but if all water fountains go away, I would not shed one tear.
Bobbing for Apples
This was a favorite of many Fall/Halloween parties: bobbing for apples. There is a large container of water filled with apples, and people take turns bobbing their heads into the container to catch an apple with their mouths.
When I think about this now, I shudder in horror. So many different people dunking their entire heads — with mouths open — into the same container of water with apples in it? What were we thinking?
And, frequently, people would likely be intoxicated when doing so, which makes cross-contamination even more likely. I don’t think this should EVER come back, even when Covid is a distant memory.
I fully admit that I used to love going to these types of restaurants: where — for one low, low price — you can eat as much salad, pasta, meat, and other dishes as your stomach can handle. But, when you think about it more, it is the perfect set up for illness.
Food is set out for hours at a time, with hundreds of people using the exact same utensils to dish out said food. There were no hand-washing stations or hand sanitizer dispensers anywhere to be found. And, despite the glass on the top of the food, people are breathing, and coughing, and sneezing, and talking all over the food.
I stopped going to these all-you-can-eat type of restaurants after my kids and I all got sick with food poisoning. And due to the pandemic, many of these restaurants have since stopped operating. While I am not happy that people lost their jobs and livelihoods, I hope that this type of restaurant does not return once Covid recedes. It was not healthy before Covid, and it will still not be healthy once it goes away.
Now, I would not mind having an “all you can eat” type of restaurant where I am served as much food as I want at the table. But, an open buffet? No.
Sometimes, it takes a global health emergency to show us the errors of our previous ways. A lot has changed with the Covid pandemic, and much of that change has been detrimental. But, there are some good changes, such as those I outlined above, and we will be all the better without them.