Happy Good Friday, tomorrow.
In the time before COVID-19 it was so easy to order, receive and enjoy a freshly made pizza. You'd hop online, enter your order, enter a delivery time, toss in your credit card information and then get back to retouching something or cleaning off your swim goggles until the delivery driver appeared carrying a box with a hot, fresh and topping rich pie. We kept an envelope of $5 bills next to the front door so we'd always have tip money ready to go. If work was slow and the coffers were running low we'd save the delivery cost and order the pizza as carry out. Then we'd flip a three headed coin to see which of us would go and collect dinner.
The delivery would happen and we'd pop that box open right on the table and start the wonderful process of truly appreciating freshly melted cheese, a robust tomato sauce and whatever savory toppings we craved in the moment. No muss. No fuss.
Now though we have a virus/pizza box intervention process that we have to go through. Once the pizza is delivered to the front door a family member receives the box and the driver scurries away (we add the tip on line so the driver is pre-tipped by the time he gets here). Once the driver has retreated to his idling car we begin the process.
It goes like this: The designated pizza box holder remains outside the house and places the box on the welcome mat on the front porch. The same person, who has already been potentially contaminated by whomever before has touched the box, opens the box and folds the sides down to make space for a person from inside the house to approach the box and without touching any part of the exterior of the box and the person on the house side slides a pizza peel (the big spatula used to pull pizzas out of ovens) underneath the pizza until it's stably situated on said peel. At that point she (it's usually Belinda, she's a pro at tossing coins) takes the pizza into the domicile and leaves the door ajar, just a bit .
The pizza "intermediary" takes the box and places it into the trash can outside. After the box is properly disposed of he (it's usually me messing with stuff that goes in the trash = bad coin tosser) approaches the door and opens it fully with his foot. There is a bottle of hand sanitizer just inside the door and he uses it liberally to disinfect his hands. Then there is a trip to the bathroom to wash hands for at least 20 seconds. Next up is grabbing a Chlorox wipe from the kitchen to wipe down the sanitizer bottle and pump mechanism, and finally the front door knob gets a proactive wipe and the door is closed. Only then can the (now lukewarm) pizza be enjoyed.
It's a process. And anybody who tells you the journey is more important than the destination is full of shit. Getting a hot pizza is definitely a luxury which I'm looking forward to A.C.-19 (after Covid-19). But lukewarm, safety pizza is definitely better than nothing.
Side note, if you think the writing here is getting daffy and distracted you might not be all wrong. Monday the 13th will mark our first 30 days of "sheltering in place." Other than a weekly pizza, enjoyed by tradition on Thursday nights, we've been doing all of our meals at home. A strange and quixotic break from the recent good old days of favorite restaurants and favorite fellow diners. I'm not sure how long it will take me to re-socialize.... But I see why there are 400% more mental health issues per capita in rural areas than in cities. One's mind doesn't get pulled into "normal" if there's no social group around to help maintain healthy boundaries.
But, tonight is pizza night! Yay. It's like a mark on the prison wall that let's us understand a relative passage of time. If you order pizza tonight I hope yours comes piping hot.
We're doing a veggie pizza tonight. With a salad and a bottle of red wine. Takes the edge off self-isolation. Now, if only we can find something fun to watch on Netflix....