Wednesday, April 14,

Is it ethical to order delivery in a pandemic?

People are being encouraged to stay home to avoid exposure to corona virus. Should they ask others to bring them food?

Since the outbreak of the novel corona virus, we’ve been advised to stay inside and to minimize human contact. One of the biggest challenges that create is getting food. Many states and cities have restricted restaurants to takeout since dining out are no longer considered safe or responsible. However, ordering delivery is still a viable option.

There is little evidence to support that COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel corona virus, can be transmitted through food or food packaging, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration (although, of course, nobody is absolutely sure). However, the risk can be much higher for delivery workers who have to travel and interact with people.

During a pandemic like this one, there are always risks, but there are also ways to mitigate those risks. Here are some current good practices — both in terms of health and ethics — for getting takeout:

  • PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING – Avoid meeting the food courier in person.
  • THROW OUT THE PACKAGING – The CDC says that there is a risk of getting the virus by coming into contact with a surface that has the virus on it. That’s why it’s best if you discard the packaging your takeout comes in as soon as possible and wash your hands straight after.
  • DON’T FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS – You should always wash your hands before you eat, but it’s especially important now. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • TIP WELL – Delivery workers are especially vulnerable to the virus, and they rely on that work for their livelihood. It’s important that you tip, and if you are able to, tip generously.

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