I’ve watched the movie Contagion. In 2020 America, that means I’m an expert in epidemiology. Are you familiar with the sarcasm font? That was all written in the double double animal style sarcasm font.

But we can still talk about things.

Anyone who can work from home right now and still collect a paycheck is working from home. Except when they’re hanging on a rooftop deck with friends, playing basketball at Cal Anderson Park, or running in groups of four – socially distanced by keeping the group under ten. More sarcasm font.

I just read an article by an asthmatic fast food worker describing the conflicting thoughts of being able to still work while facing the prospect of death at a sandwich shop near a few Seattle hospitals.

Now that the Pete Buttigieg McKinsey consultants don’t have to keep propping up Enron, maybe we could get a few of them to help local governments figure out a win win for food service workers.

All of us who aren’t shooting deer and freezing venison cutlets (not a hunter or a big meat eater, don’t fact check me on cutlets) are waxing poetic about the food industry folks. It’s easy to wax poetic. You can wax poetic from home right after Uber Eats delivers your ramen. I haven’t ordered ramen, but I am a hypocrite…I am waxing less than poetic from my apartment.

I’m very impressed and grateful for what some of our governors and local officials have done to flatten the curve. I know they are swamped. I hope very soon they can come up for air and think of ways to better protect health care workers, food industry folks, first responders, etc. It’s easy to come up with “we shoulds…” I have some rough ideas. I’m sure they have flaws.

  • Sandwich shops and restaurants near hospitals. Give them personal protective gear and basic training in wearing it. Make sure they have a cashless order system set up. If people can’t pay with a card, help entities establish lines of credit. For people who don’t fall under either system – quietly reimburse the shop. Suggest to the shop that it stock no contact food boxes – carnivore, vegetarian, and call ahead with special needs.

  • Grocery stores. Minimize the risk, minimize the contact. Help grocery stores set up no contact calorie boxes. Most of us can get by with the outdated food pyramid. Give me a box of noodles, beans, and produce, and I’m a happy quarantiner. Order online, pick up in a grab and go spot. Leave the store to people who are on food assistance programs, have special dietary needs, or are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Broken record – personal protective gear, health care, hazard pay, sick leave, etc. for employees.

Again, my public policy experience is nil. My blog might be crap. But I’m sitting at home during the end of days not helping….maybe someone who is in a position to protect vulnerable workers stumbles on this and gets an idea.