In 2020, going out has become passe. The trendy thing to do is to stay put and lock yourself in your home.
The pandemic has changed daily routines. Friday nights of bar hopping has transformed into sipping wine in pajamas while you chat with your friends over Zoom. Saturday date nights have been confined in your dining room now that restaurants have become unsafe. House parties have all been canceled indefinitely.
In the fight against COVID-19, everyone has to do their part, which is to stay at home.
Americans Cooking More
The directive to shelter in place during the pandemic has influenced more Americans to experiment in the kitchen. One survey conducted by the communications firm HUNTER found that more than half of adults have found themselves cooking more during thelockdown. Meanwhile, 46% started baking more.
This really should not come as a surprise. Earlier this year, social media was filled with attempts of ordinary people to make their own food. Summer was all about sourdough bread, which almost everyone has attempted.
From the same survey, 75% of those cooking more have gained better confidence in the kitchen and their skills, 50% are cooking for the first time, and 73% are enjoying the activity more than they did before.
This is, of course, a result of being stuck at home most of the time. Although restaurants have reopened and are now accepting dine-in customers, many people continue to stay home while the virus zips through the United States.
Home Cooking May Give Rise to Injuries
There are a considerable number of people teaching themselves how to cook and bake. They are not starting from scratch thanks to cookbooks, blogs, and videos on YouTube, but there is still a risk that they may sustain injury from the activity.
There are a lot of hazards in the kitchen. Sharp knives, hot stoves and pans, and boiling liquids are only some things that can cause an injury. Simple acts that you may not even think of, such as wearing jewelry made of metal, can cause harm too.
Metal conducts heat. In the kitchen, you are always exposed to open flames. If you have to wear jewelry, choose those made of silicone. You can get fashionable stackable rings that would not burn you.
There is also the danger of food poisoning. Poor hygiene when preparing and handling food can lead to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
A home cook should always wash their hands, clean their equipment, and wipe every surface.
Cooking at Home Will Persist
Home cooking is not just a temporary hobby that people pick up during lockdown. Another survey, this time from Bloomberg, revealed that a third of adults surveyed would continue using their kitchen to whip up delicious meals even after the pandemic.
Only 7% of respondents admitted that they might cook less when the economy reopens as soon as the virus is gone.
Young people, particularly those belonging to Generation Z, aim to keep up cooking at home for the foreseeable future. Nearly 50% of respondents born between the mid-’90s and 2010 will log more hours in the kitchen when restrictions have been lifted.
The Good and the Bad
Cooking at home has generally been regarded as a healthier option compared to buying food from a restaurant. When you make your meals yourself, you know how much sugars, oils, and calories you are consuming. When you order takeout, you have no idea what ingredients are added to what you are eating.
Moreover, you also have the opportunity to alter ingredients and make a meal healthier. You can find countless recipes you can follow all over the internet.
However, here is the sad part. Restaurants all over the U.S. are struggling financially because of the restrictions imposed by local and national governments to prevent the further spread of the virus. Most places are open for deliveries and takeout. A portion is open to dine-in customers but is limited to only half or a third of their capacity. Some welcome everyone, but no customers are coming.
If the pandemic truly altered people’s eating habits, restaurants may find it challenging to recover from the financial crisis they suffered during the lockdown. Even when things go back to normal, many restaurants may have to close permanently if fewer customers are willing to eat out. No one knows whether things go back to normal or habits become altered forever after the pandemic. Right now, it is still safer to stay at home and cook your own meals rather than venture and eat at a restaurant. However, those who can should also support local businesses. Order food from nearby restaurants so that, while COVID-19 is still devastating the nation, they can survive the pandemic