See, I think “social distancing” is not the best word choice. Look at it this way:
When my sister and I were little, our family rarely ate pork out of habit since both of our parents grew up Jewish. We were all huge fans of Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White. In the book, Wilbur the pig is saved by Charlotte the spider and avoids becoming bacon. For some reason, my father thought it was hilarious to joke with me and Laura that the bacon we were eating was like some other version of Wilbur, so Laura and I jokingly called bacon, “Wilbur”. Which was totally acceptable between the three of us, until one time we happened to have bacon at a larger meal with some of my father’s relatives. When our uncle heard me and Laura call bacon “Wilbur,” he was horrified, as any good fan of Charlotte’s Web should have been, hearing this outside of whatever original context it had once been in.
So, what is social distancing exactly, and what is its purpose? Social sounds like your chosen circle of people. Distancing sounds like choosing to go away from them. Basically, the idea of social distancing sounds to me like leaving your friends alone.
Is that really what we’re supposed to be doing right now?
Yes and no. This phrase is INTENDED to have a meaning closer to the concept of giving people physical space. Not physically leaving your house much because of the quarantine. It’s the right thing to do now, to stop the spread of a very persistent virus.
But what to do about the friends who are being screwed over by the pandemic’s effects of taking their people away from them? For example, what about the small restaurants in your area, small businesses trying to stay afloat and pay their employees? And then, what about the big chains like Five Guys, who in my area employ many immigrant women? And, last, what about the friends you know who have struggled with illnesses such as depression, where staying home day in and day out for an indefinite period of time could hurt these friends in a way completely removed from any virus?
There has to be a balance between doing everything you can to stop the spread of the virus, without this just ending up as everyone getting so completely isolated that it’s every man for himself and who cares who gets hurt as long as they don’t get coronavirus.
I ask you to think about it. I urge you to make tactical choices, like putting on a clean pair of winter gloves and wrapping a pretty scarf around your nose and mouth, and then going to pick up take-out.
Personally, I’ve got a few different scarves I’m swapping every time I go out, so they’re as clean as they can be. And I’ve been bleach-wiping the outsides of my gloves after going out anywhere, with Lysol wipes.
And I’m making a huge effort to be as patient and kind with other people as I possibly can be. This doesn’t mean I’m doing that perfectly. I’m just as human as the next person.
We’re all susceptible to this stupid virus. But that’s not what makes us human.
We are human beings full of choices and opinions and love and hate, of frustration and annoyance, of kindness and empathy, and as humans we are social creatures.
This situation is BANANAS. So please, reach out to your people in the safest and kindest way that you can. And if you’ve got an extra banana hanging around the kitchen after your latest grocery adventure, then you might choose to make this delicious recipe for banana pancakes!
Very Bananas Pancakes
Contains eggs, gluten, and dairy
This will make a nice, small batch for conservation of your flour supply 😉
You will need…
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 plus 1/8 cup milk, plus somewhere around 1/16 cup to thin out batter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 medium banana
butter and flavorless oil to cook in
First, melt the butter so it can start to cool ASAP. Slice the banana thinly, then cut into very small triangles.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg, and then whisk in the milk and vanilla.
Then whisk in the butter.
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, then quickly whisk in the wet mixture. It will be a bit lumpy, but it shouldn’t be TOO lumpy. You may want to add in the approximate measure of extra milk at this point to thin out the batter.
Cook the pancakes in a bit of oil and bit of butter. You can use a skillet or even a griddle if you have one! Make the pancakes on the smaller side, and cook over medium heat until the surface bubbles on each pancake and the bubbles stay bubbled. Then flip the pancake and let cook briefly on the other side until it’s a pleasant light brown.
Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit if desired. Bon appetit!
Wherever you are through the world of the internet, I’m sending you nice thoughts and hope that you are doing ok. We can get through this together.