COVID-19 has put our restaurant industry in a pickle. Many local eating establishments are having to choose between keeping their doors open and keeping their staff safe from the pandemic, which is a really sucky situation to be in. Thankfully, we average Oklahomans have a lot of power when it comes to keeping the local restaurant industry alive while stopping the spread of COVID-19. And contrary to seemingly popular belief, you don’t need to wave a gun in the face of a teenage restaurant employee to do so! In fact, here are 7 things you can do to not get/spread COVID-19 at a local restaurant!
Wear a Goddang Mask
With so many Oklahomans throwing fits about masking up before going out in public, it seems like a Venn Diagram of the people in this state following the CDC’s advice about COVID-19 and those who take their spouse to Red Lobster’s “endless shrimp scampi” promotion for date night are two COMPLETELY separated circles on different pieces of paper. Come on, guys. It’s not that hard to wear a mask while the waitstaff is at your table. Hell, just think of it like a built-in napkin. But unfortunately, I know there are many who are dead-set against wearing a mask, but still want the “eating out” experience (no, not like that. My grandma still reads these). So thankfully they can…
Go to a Quiznos
Yes, there are still Quiznos establishments across Oklahoma. No, you probably won’t need a mask because nobody else has patronized a Quiznos since 2011.
Make a Pros and Cons List
If a Baja Chicken or Turkey Bacon Guacamole sub doesn’t tickle your fancy, yet you still fancy an evening out on the town, make a pros and cons list to help you decide what to do. For example, the pros of going to eat in a restaurant include a fleeting return to the “normalcy” the pandemic has killed and getting your breadbasket refilled 3-4 times before the entrée arrives. But if the con of possibly catching/spreading a potentially fatal virus proves to be too heavy of a factor, you could always…
Marry into the Pioneer Woman’s family
Having Ree Drummond as a mother-in-law means you never have to eat out again! As long as you like to eat primarily butter or cream cheese-based entrees with primarily butter or cream cheese-based side dishes. And if you don’t, you still won’t have to worry about eating out ever again because their Pawhuska ranch is far enough from civilization that there are no nearby non-Pioneer Woman themed restaurants…let alone people to hear your cries and pleas for help.
Finally Learn to Cook
If you can’t find an eligible Drummond and are still hankering for something hot, you could always pull a “mom” and remind yourself that you’ve got food in the fridge. But if a stovetop has always been solely known as the place you leave your Styrofoam box of leftover spaghetti to cool when you pull it from the microwave, maybe it’s time up your culinary capabilities and learn to cook your favorite dishes yourself. But once you have crashed and (literally) burned at this trial, you could always…
Have Something Delivered or Go Curbside.
God invented Postmates for a reason and many wonderful, locally-owned metro restaurants also offer stellar service for curbside pickup. My household has ordered in from Thai Delight for AEW Wrestling Wednesday every week since March. It’s a win-win situation: we customers get bomb din-dins and local restaurants get business without some unmasked, unknowingly-asymptomatic asshole infecting the whole establishment because they wanted to exercise their “right” to be served. Yes, I am talking about you, offended reader.
But if contactless delivery isn’t enough “service” for you, there’s one last thing you can do…
Order a Pizza…Over the Phone
Look, I know that this pandemic has even the most introverted people yearning for a chance at person-to-person connection, no matter how ephemeral. So if it is the “human contact” part of frequenting a restaurant that you miss, try pulling a 2004 by ordering a pizza delivery over the phone. Bonus points if you’re calling from a landline or use a coupon from the phonebook.
Mazzio’s in Elk City was turned into a sushi bar years ago. Follow Hayley on twitter @squirrellygeek