This past week I have to admit I was bemoaning the new phase of our COVID-19 times (specifically as related to working in the hospitality industry), and a trusted friend/colleague said, “Yeah, who knew that coming out of this would be even more difficult than going into it.” Might sound strange, but that’s exactly how I feel.
There seems to be more uncertainty now than ever, but now there is also an overriding political charge to all aspects of the pandemic. Per usual, politics divide us, and that heartwarming sense of unity during crisis seems a bit lost.
The bottom line is that it’s hard to know what’s the right decision as a hospitality professional and just as a citizen. Personally, I am trying to be less judgemental and once again focus on the little bits of joy -- fresh mint in my morning tea, the scent of so many spring flowers down South, the softness of my dog’s fur when I give him belly rubs, and of course the simple joy of time at the table.
The reality is that I am only off one day a week right now so cooking is limited. But we have been sustained by takeout from good friends’ restaurants. I have snapped pics of most of these meals and not to obsessively post all to social media but rather as a record/a journal. I want to remember there was happiness during this trying time.
There was the oh-so-pretty Teutonic Pinot Meunier we enjoyed with a cheese board from Counter Cheese Caves. There was amazingly affordable Cru Beaujolais with pizza from Food Fight. There was amazingly affordable Chablis with Pickled Shrimp from Edmund’s Oast. There was mineral driven Canary Islands white wine with Chirashi from Sushi Wa. There was Loire Valley Gamay with rotisserie chicken from Herd Provisions. There was the splurge of opening an aged Santa Barbara Pinot Noir from Domaine de la Côte with pork chops from Ted’s Butcher Block…
You get my point -- we did not starve during these times. And even as I look back at the photos and perhaps also remember the long days filled with sad news that went along with them, and I as I continue to navigate the uncertainty, I am reminded that there is a bright endpoint to most days for me. And for that I am blessed.
So I will keep taking it day by day as we enter a new phase of the crisis. I will make the best possible decisions for myself. And I will most definitely cherish the precious moments.
Wishing you strength and good health!