Lockdown and the fear of the coronavirus pandemic have changed our lifestyle completely. When coronavirus cases begin to appear in India, many people switched to food deliveries out of precaution, instead of going out. Not everyone is used to of cooking three meals a day at home, apart from doing other household chores and work. Which is why it made sense to people to order in food whenever possible. But recently, the news of a 19-year-old pizza delivery boy having tested positive for COVID-19 and 72 families being quarantined consequently, has raised certain questions on ordering in. What kind of a risk you are putting yourself at by ordering in food? Does it put the well-being of people delivering our food at risk as well?
Also, popular pizza restaurant chain Dominos has announced that they have switched to zero contact delivery in order to protect both their customers and workers. In addition, they said that their delivery persons would be wearing gloves and masks to ensure customer safety. But is that enough?
SheThePeople.TV asked people what they think about ordering food online amidst coronavirus breakout. Here is what they had to say.
What’s the fear: to order in food or not
1. Delivery people are being exposed to the risk of getting infected.
2. People who cannot cook themselves will have to face major inconvenience.
3. If the government shuts online food delivery, many more people might lose jobs and small scale businesses will be affected.
I think there are several people who cannot cook. There are people who are too old or too sick to cook and bachelors who do not know how to cook living alone. It is really difficult for such people to cook thrice a day to sustain themselves.- Muskaan Sharma
Livelihood threatened by fear
Anushka Raghava, an 18-year-old student at Delhi University, who hails from Chandigarh says that ordering in food could prove to be crucial in sustaining small businesses. She says, ” This lockdown is increasingly becoming financially hard for so many people. Big firms like Swiggy and Zomato outsource food from so many restaurants. Many of these are small scale businesses. Since they are already closed otherwise, food deliveries can be a good alternative to sustain these businesses. Moreover, they employ so many other people and support their families as well. If they take necessary precautions for the delivery boys, other workers as well as the people they are delivering food to, I think it is good and quite important.”
Bad Idea? Putting lives in danger?
Suman Lata, a housewife from Ghaziabad says that since coronavirus is a disease that can spread through objects touched by the infected person and since the symptoms show up late, there are chances that an infected person can be around us anytime unknowingly. “When we order food online, we are not only risking our lives, but also that of the delivery boy who will travel all the way to bring us food. Capitalism has forced these people to put their salary and their job above their health. I think these huge firms should take an ethical decision and give these delivery boys paid leaves keeping in mind the public good.”
Kashish Gupta from Noida reveals that she used to order food on a weekly basis. But now due to coronavirus, she is even scared to touch those packets. “God knows how many hands it has been through before reaching me. Moreover, after that pizza delivery guy tested positive for COVID-19, my parents are even more scared and I would not be allowed to order anything until the lockdown ends.”
There is no point in risking someone else’s life and ours. And if you ask me, lately I feel good that I have not eaten anything unhealthy for so long.- Aadhyaa Singh
Contactless food delivery, is it for real?
But there is another side to the story. Many people are not in a position to cook for themselves every day. Hectic schedule, limited skills means increased dependency on food delivery during lockdown. Could a contactless delivery be a better solution then., which is convenient for everyone? Muskaan Sharma says, “I think there are several people who cannot cook. There are people who are too old or too sick to cook and bachelors who do not know how to cook living alone. It is really difficult for such people to cook thrice a day to sustain themselves. Ordering food in such cases is a really good option. Moreover, there is no harm in it if the delivered packages are handled properly. In my society, there is a big table kept near the gate. The delivery boy delivers the food there only. And we pick it up from there. Hence there is no contact and therefore lesser risk.”
It’s All Some of Us Can Do
Aadhyaa Singh from Patna is missing online food badly. Since the lockdown began, she is not allowed to order anything online because her parents are paranoid that this might bring the virus to their home. “To an extent, even I think it is not absolute paranoia and I agree too. There is no point in risking someone else’s life and ours. And if you ask me, lately I feel good that I have not eaten anything unhealthy for so long. I even tried making some south Indian dishes and they turned out really well. I guess I will finally have better cooking skills so I don’t really regret it.”
Photo by RoseBox on Unsplash
Ayushi Aggarwal is an intern SheThePeople.TV.