If you were alive in the 1950s, you probably remember milkmen. They went around to houses, picking up the empty milk bottles that you left for them, and they’d leave you with fresh bottles of milk. I’m not old enough to remember milkmen (I had to look it up on Wikipedia to get info for this article), but I do remember hearing about how prominent they once were in our society and culture. From what I understand, with the improvement in refrigeration technology and the increasing ability to buy milk and other dairy products in grocery stores, milkmen largely became obsolete.
That’s changed with COVID-19. Now that people are quarantined within their own homes, people need to take delivery of goods and services. I don’t have any statistics, but I’m willing to bet that the number of deliveries of various items has gone up. Before the crisis, I never before ordered groceries to get them delivered; now, I’ve already done so several times in the past couple of months. Last month, I got an email from a local creamery announcing that they would start delivering products to local city residents. We decided to take advantage of that service, and we received our first delivery this morning (which is the photo of the milk crate you see above).
It seems like, out of necessity, a lot of these old-fashioned delivery services, like milkmen, are coming back into existence. I’m wondering how long these services will continue after the COVID-19 crisis is over. As of right now, I intend to be a regular customer of this creamery delivery, but I’m also wondering how long I’ll maintain it after we’re allowed to leave our homes again. Besides, there’s something to be said about the convenience of running down to the corner store.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 will change our lives in how we eat, work, and shop, once things have returned to normal — whatever “normal” is by then. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about supporting local business. This is another way of doing it. I hope we can maintain it, even after this crisis has passed.
Here’s a little-known secret: I actually can cook. Granted, you won’t often see me cooking up any gourmet meals, but I’m also not so bad that you’ll see me on Worst Cooks In America. I can hold my own in the kitchen. (Just ask my wife; I haven’t poisoned her yet!) That said, with my (non COVID-19) busy schedule, I have to be in the right mood to cook, and when I’m busy, that isn’t often. My microwave oven and GrubHub are my best friends.
In that regard, I’ve gotten into some bad habits, and the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated some of them, especially the part about ordering out. Even though I’m not going into the office, I’m still keeping myself pretty well occupied throughout the day (as I mentioned before, I am still working from home, after all). If I have good things in the refrigerator or pantry, I’m pretty good about throwing together a quick sandwich for lunch, but if not — hello, GrubHub! It’s a habit that I desperately need to stop doing, and I’m well-aware of it.
One thing that I have taken more advantage of during this crisis is that my local supermarket offers delivery, something I’ve never used before this crisis. I’m usually insistent on going to the store myself to get whatever I need, but with my quarantine at the start of this crisis, that changed out of necessity. It isn’t perfect — on my first order, I requested 1.5 pounds of Angus ground beef, and instead got 1.5 pounds of Angus roast beef cold cuts (this is a major reason why I’d rather go grocery shopping in person, not online). Also, because the supermarket is overwhelmed with seemingly everyone using this service, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get my groceries delivered on the same day that I order them. That said, I’ll give the supermarket employees credit; they’re doing the best they can throughout this crisis, and they are among the unsung heroes out there trying to make life better for all of us.
We all need to make adjustments during this crisis, and I am definitely no exception. It’s just another thing to deal with until our lives get back to normal.