Now is not the time to panic.
Opt for being prepared—and flexible—instead. As the coronavirus progresses, we may have several phases of changing the way we are used to doing things.
Here’s a great article explaining why we needed to act now.
Here’s why young people should be concerned too.
Photograph by Breezy Lucia
Locally Owned and Operated Restaurants
Eater just released a guide to safely eating out that will be updated as recommendations change.
Here’s the gist (for now):
- If you are sick or in a high-risk group (over age 60, existing health problems), stay home. This goes for eaters and workers.
- Avoid buffets.
- Don’t share food.
- Wash your hands (again), especially after handling cash or using a touch screen for payment.
Photograph by Andrea Morales
Restaurants have always had to follow strict health guidelines, so they are pros. Many are posting their safety and contingency plans online or on social media, but, if you have questions, call. Many, like Inspire Community Café, have transitioned to carry out and delivery only—another reason to call ahead. Restaurants don’t want to make you sick—and they don’t want you to make them sick either!
- Continue to support your favorite local restaurants.
- Get food to go from your favorite local restaurants.
- Ask if the restaurant offers direct delivery, even if it isn’t something they have done in the past. If they aren’t delivering, ask who their preferred delivery service is.
- Ask if they will bring food out to your car, even if it isn’t something they have done in the past.
Other ways to support your favorite restaurants:
- Buy gift cards to use at a later date.
- Leave an extra big tip. (Say, 30 percent for the next few weeks?)
- Purchase merchandise and other miscellaneous items (T-shirts, sauces, bags of coffee, prepared foods, etc.).
Photograph by Kim Thomas
Farmers Markets and Small, Independently Owned Grocery Stores
Now is the time to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share or start a weekly or monthly subscription with a small farm that delivers—like Rose Creek Farms, Falcon Ridge Farm, or Home Place Pastures.
In some cases, you can buy at the farm. RusDun farms has regular sales of its Half High Beef. (The next one is Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Home Place Pastures has a store that is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday.
The winter market in Cooper-Young is in full swing every Saturday, and several other farmers markets are just two to three weeks away.
Make a special effort to support small, independent grocery stores like Cordelia’s Market, Curb Market, City Market, and High Point Grocery, who carry a wide variety of local products. (They probably even have toilet paper!)
Photograph courtesy of Grind City Coffee Xpo
Want to know who’s more upset than you about those cancelled events? The organizers and the groups who hoped to raise money for their causes! While some may be able to reschedule, many will not. Instead of asking for (or expecting) a refund, consider your ticket purchase a much-needed donation and a small personal sacrifice for the greater good.
Photograph by Ziggy Mack
Make donations of time or money to organizations like the Mid-South Food Bank or MIFA, who ensure that our most vulnerable populations don’t go hungry. They too are finding ways to safely serve their clients and protect their volunteers. Find more ways to help here.