Reconnecting in a socially distanced world
by Sharon Kelley
How do we do it? How do we show hospitality when we are isolating and socially distancing yet long to be with our friends and church family? How do we reach out to be hospitable and keep our distance?
One way is with “restorative food from the heart and love from the soul”. There is currently no evidence that the Corona viruses are transmitted through food. To further reassure concerned individuals, it can be killed when heated to 145 °F and cooked for several minutes. That feels very hot to the touch. Normal cooking procedures are standard. “Cleanliness is next to godliness”—or so I was told as a child.
Prepare food ready to be baked or cooked to alleviate any concerns. Deliver to your friends and family in a disposable container or wrapping with specific heating or cooking instructions. Knock on the door and return down the walk to wait for a response and short conversation. Air hugs help also.
Invite a few friends to your yard if it is large enough —no more than 7-8, including you, works well in a circle with each couple or individual sitting 6 feet from the next person or couple. That spreads the circle large enough to social distance but conversation is still enjoyable. There is some safety in being outdoors especially with a West Texas breeze.
The table with food and beverages can be distanced way from the group. Hand sanitizer or wipes should be available.
Also offer bottled water, canned drinks, lemonade or wine as easily served beverages.
If you want, offer foods that are easy to eat and can be served with tongs or serving spoons, forks, or turners. My policy is that it all offered food can be poured untouched from a bag, heated, or washed.
Small plates are needed so people will not gather to eat around the serving table. Encourage that only one person be at the table at a time.
We have our most accessible bathroom available for guests. It is thoroughly cleaned before and after a small group happening. Sanitizing wipes are on the counter.
Remember hospitality is sharing what you have. Do not be concerned if your yard is not the prettiest on the block. It is yours and the sharing with others is the blessing. Enjoy safely reconnecting physically while providing safe guards for social distancing. We need each other!! The benefits are great!!