Together at Home, Separated In the Store

How COVID-19 has affected not only stores, but the family unit

By Jillian Pampuro

Special to the Redcoat Review

Posted May 26, 2020

As Coronavirus tears through countries, it shows us that light can be found even in the darkest of times.

With families stuck at home, many seem to be picking up new hobbies. Notably, there has been an influx of adults and children alike spending more time in the kitchen, whether it be baking for fun, trying to spark a long lost passion for food or trying to refine some cooking skills.

Breads baked by hand, cakes, cookies and sweets flow from the kitchen, and (most importantly) homemade dinners are being created by people of all ages.

The idea of eating dinner together recently became a lost one. Since women became more than stay at home mothers and started entering the workforce, the family unit started to adjust to these new ideas. With kids at school and participating in afterschool activities and both parents hard at work, it became difficult to find time to sit down together.

But with more families now together at meal time, the notion of eating meals as a family is being reinstituted in households across the country.

According to The Sun, a research study commissioned by McCain Foods, in line with the wider Nation’s Conversations report, reported that “44 percent of families are eating more meals together than ever before due to everyone being home. As a result, 36 percent feel closer to their relatives and 32 percent believe they are kinder to one another.”

While the virus has proven to bring old traditions back and families closer than ever, it has quickly proven difficult for grocery stores to keep up with the new rush of people not only cooking their own food but also those cooking for their families.

If you were to take a quick trip to your local grocery store, you would probably notice a lack of meats such as chicken and beef. In some stores, there may even be a lack of pre-made cake mix, unbleached flours, and yeast. With the combination of more American families cooking and individuals stock piling food out of fear, the lack of typically easy-to-access products is causing trouble for not only the stores selling them, but also for restaurants and bakeries that rely on these materials to make a living

According to popular food website Food52, “After reaching out to friends in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Georgia who noticed either a lack of or significantly reduced amounts of these items (the Connecticut store was limiting shoppers to two bags of flour), it’s clear that this is not just affecting New York City bakers… the mere fact that suppliers were even low is unprecedented.”

This is unlike anything America has experienced since the Great Depression. Stockpiling and rationing food are ideas that our generation never thought we would have to experience. Walking into a grocery store and seeing empty shelves of food items and cleaning products is an eerie feeling.

To some extent, the virus should open up the country's eyes to how fortunate we are. That we have bountiful grocery stores at our disposal. That we are able to pick up foods as we please.

While the Coronavirus has brought up many challenges, it's only right that we as a society try and look toward the bright side, whether it be finding gratitude toward a life that we were born into, thanking the grocery store workers who are helping to keep families afloat or making a homemade dinner for your family to enjoy.

Coronavirus is a testament that anything can happen in this world. Appreciate the little things in your life. Tell people you're thankful. Tell people you love them (preferably in the form of an iced cake or a dinner you just made).