As some of you may know, all our team members were born and raised in Italy. We are some serious spaghetti eaters.
Even if some of us moved abroad in the last years, some others still live in the North of Italy, where unfortunately a lot of cases of coronavirus have been recorded. Luckily, so far none of us nor our collaborators have been sick or tested positive. Our production facility in the UK continues to work as usual, continuing to place the highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of the staff.
With this post, we don’t want to give lessons or anything like that. We are just sharing some random thoughts and advice, especially about food.
This paragraph may be quite boring but safety goes first!
If you are unsure about how to protect yourself we strongly encourage you to visit The World Health Organization (WHO) website.
In a nutshell, the most effective ways to protect yourself and the people around you are: washing your hands and practising social distancing.
Even if you are young and feel super strong, you can catch this virus and spread the disease. We found quite interesting that in a small town in Italy (Vo Euganeo, near Padua, one of the epicentres of the Italian outbreak) approximately 70% of the population who tested positive, was asymptomatic. ¹
Asymptomatics can easily spread the virus even if they are not aware of having it. Basically you can feel totally ok but transmit the virus to your friends and family. Not so cool, eh?
So, even if your government is not forcing you to practice social distancing we strongly suggest to do so in order to protect yourself and the people you love.
If you can, work from home. If you can’t, be sure your employer has prepared the workplace to protect you and your colleagues.
If you feel unwell, with symptoms like fever, cough or breathing problems, please self-isolate at least for two weeks, even if you feel better. If possible, avoid any direct contact also with your family members.
If the condition gets worse, get in touch with your practitioner over the phone. Do NOT go to a hospital directly, unless it’s critical.
Buying groceries and other stuff
Even if you can work from home, you still need to buy food and essential stuff. This can be done in physical stores or online. In both cases, our suggestion is to buy from local or small stores. There are two main reasons:
A) Big supermarkets are generally overcrowded and their next slot for home delivery is probably when all this mess is going to be over.
B) You are supporting small businesses that are more vulnerable during these hard times.
If you are buying online, remember that you don’t have to sign for the package. They can leave it at your door and you can bring the items inside without any personal contact. Remember to wash your hands as soon as possible. It may be smart to use a face mask if contact is inevitable. If you don’t have one, remember to keep a 6-feet / 1-meter distance. In any case, always remember to thank the delivery guy! Be kind to the only other person you are going to see for the whole week.
What food to eat?
Most of the people are stockpiling on dry products with long shelf-life. Dry products are more convenient in this period but please also consider that the supply chain for the food industry is not expected to be altered even in worst-case scenarios. You will find pasta and rice in two weeks and two months from now without any problem!
Also, don’t forget to buy fresh (or frozen) vegetables and fruit. Try to plan ahead and buy food that is enough for one-two weeks. Buying more than that doesn’t make much sense…
In general, try to balance carbs and protein and avoid unhealthy snacking.
Sometimes being at home for a long time awakes the chef in you. Cooking (and eating!) something a little bit out of the ordinary could be a great pastime.
Pangolins, bats and insects
Hopefully, you are not one of those who think that this virus was made in a lab and spread by the Illuminati. If you are, please read here.
There is no certainty about the origin of this coronavirus. It may be that it has evolved within a human host or that it has originated in bats or pangolins before transmitting to humans. We still don’t know.
In recent times, some media suggested that the lack of hygiene in poorly regulated, live-animal markets was the cause of the outbreak in China. Even if there is no proof, it’s a plausible assumption. Forcing live and sometimes wild animals in a very close and dirty environment is never a good idea.
On the other hand, this can’t be oversimplified saying “this is what happens when you eat strange animals”. Bad hygienic conditions can turn a salad into a killer. ²
We also have to consider that bats and pangolins may seem strange but they are mammals, as we are. They are not that different from us and that is why a virus transmission between our species is possible.
What about insects? Insects are invertebrates, so extremely different from us. The transmissions of diseases from them to us is not possible.
The only case when transmission of diseases is through insects is when they are a vector: they are not the host of the disease but they can spread it from one to another. Like a mosquito biting a monkey and then a human. Of course, this is only possible when they are alive and when animals and humans live close to each other.
Eating insects that are farmed specifically for human consumption in a controlled environment is 100% safe. In other words, eating insects, especially when dried, is as safe as eating our beloved pasta.
The last part of this bizarre post is dedicated to the people working on the front line: doctors, nurses and other health care workers.
If you want to support the ones in Italy, you can make a donation to the Civil Protection Department. Here you can find the official bank details.
Please also don’t consider your local community immune to this disease. Do your best to prevent it!