By Kayce Tiongson
Steps To Being A Responsible and Healthy Diner.
As many countries go through lockdown and citizens practice self-isolation and physical distancing, it is easy to grow impatient and wonder how long this will last. Conversations about missing the company of friends and jokes like “See you in 2021” have become a part of our daily routine. We can’t bring things back exactly the way they were with a snap of a finger — it will take a long time before we can dine out without a face mask — but there are actions we can do to help as responsible diners now that restaurants are starting to reopen.
Know Your Health
Are you feeling under the weather? Before going out, it is best to be aware of COVID-19 symptoms. News about people going on with their daily lives, grocery shopping, or visiting a friend at a hospital only for them to be diagnosed with the virus is common. We want to flatten the curve, and one of the first steps to do that is to practice health awareness. No one else knows how we feel. Whether we have a sore throat or a loss of taste and smell, it is us who will notice first. If you have early signs of sickness, it is best to stay at home for a period of time.
Follow the Rules
Once we are outside, let’s do our best to follow guidelines on social distancing. If we want to start hanging out and traveling overseas like we used to, we have to begin exactly where we are. At the moment, we are still in the middle of our fight against the virus. It seems to be an overwhelming obstacle, but we have to do whatever is within our control to stop it: following safety rules is one way to stay healthy. Every establishment has its own measures to control the spread of the virus. Some restaurants are doing away with shared-touch items such as menus and salt and pepper shakers. Others are creating one-lane aisles. In Los Angeles, outdoor eating is expanding for it is believed that natural air flow helps. This is also in response to diners being uncomfortable about eating in a closed and air-conditioned space. All these efforts are done for our safety. When we follow the rules, we get one small step closer to the end of this fight.
Wear/Carry Your “Gear”
Many have described this period as “fighting an invisible enemy,” and when there’s a fight, there are warriors: us! Restaurants around the globe have taken extensive measures to welcome us back in their warm and nostalgic spaces. In return, we can dine responsibly. Always wear a face mask. Bring a bottle of hand sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol. If possible, use cashless transactions. Limit close human interaction. Give a tip if you can. Be kind! With these considerate gestures, restaurant staff will surely see the smile behind our face masks.
When we begin the day brooding about how itchy a face mask is or how annoying it is to have another video call, the situation feels heavier on our shoulders. The circumstance is already so bad — even tragic — but if we try to shift our minds a bit from negativity to purpose, then life will feel lighter somehow. Let’s shift our minds from “This is too much of a burden” to “This is uncomfortable, but I’m doing this for my health and for my family.” Instead of thinking “This restaurant is not catering to my needs,” how about “I have been to this restaurant on several important occasions of my life, what can I do for these people now that they are at the brink of shutting down?”
It’s easy to assume that in the past few months, the majority of the world has uttered the words “I miss dining out.” We all want this pandemic to be over, and it will only happen if every domino on the floor is aligned with one another. For now, let’s do our part until dining out goes back to what we have always known it to be…
Until we can gather around food and create memories again. 🙂
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