The Bubonic Plague, which first began in China in 1331 and spread to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East between 1347 and 1351, has continued off and on to the present day. There was a repeat outbreak in China in 1855, and the bacteria which causes Bubonic Plague is found these days in prairie dogs throughout the Southwest. In fact, we occasionally read news stories about someone being infected with plague.
The same thing is true of the influenza virus that caused the Spanish Flu of 1918 - 1920. That virus has never gone away. It's simply mutated and become part of the many strains of flu virus that circulate every year.
Sociopolitical pressures are driving mayors and governors to revise stay-at-home orders and allow the limited re-opening of many businesses. Even though the Health Secretary lifted some restrictions in her May 5, 2020, Public Health Order, as the Governor
“If New Mexicans don’t behave safely, we won’t be able to reopen more than we have. Every single one of us has to do their part.”
So what does any of this have to do with Kitchen Angels?
It means that we cannot become complacent. Our clients deserve that from us. As the pandemic continues and our yearning to return to our old lives increases, many of us will find ourselves slipping in our risk-reducing practices. Nevertheless, Kitchen Angels volunteers and staff will need to continue the practices we've implemented.
that all volunteers are required to complete before each shift is also intended to be a reminder that
nothing has really changed
, even though some of the state-imposed business restrictions are easing up. Face masks, social distancing and hand sanitizing remain mandatory. Our obligation remains to our clients and each other. We may see more and more people around town letting down
guard, but the pandemic isn't over until the
indicate the pandemic is over. Only then will it be safe to let down
It also means that, as we begin to consider the future of KITCHENALITY, we'll have to make some decisions about the number of customers and volunteers who can be in the store at any time, as well as changing the way volunteers can interact with customers. Our decisions will be driven by what is best for our clients and what makes sense given the most reliable medical and social data available.
It will all feel very strange for a while. And the changing habits and societal norms that we develop may continue to cause confusion for some of us. If we take a step back, however, and consider what will keep our family, friends and loved ones safe, the confusion will lessen and what is expected from each of us will become clear.
To each Kitchen Angels volunteer, thank you.