Leading up to a Covid Christmas
Covid has disrupted the lives of everyone in the world and it gave my family a different type of Christmas in 2021. Leading up to the day, we made a plan and looked forward to catching up, eating, drinking, laughing and sharing presents. My dad is 95, and still wants to make a food contribution, and he was to prepare his famous cheese and cauliflower dish, as well as baked potatoes. I was cooking the turkey in the oven, and a few veggies on the BBQ. My kids were given the task of desserts and I hoped they would clean up. Although I use a wheelchair to get around, and have chronic pain, I don’t like to say I can’t do things. Better to try, and fail, than not try at all.
Covid arrives in South Australia
Our state government made a decision to open up the borders in late November, as the state reached a double vaccination rate of 80%. We had gone months without a single community covid transmission, but that all changed. Visitors from other states brought covid with them, and many people were deemed to be close contacts, including my daughter, Jasmine.
She was feeling ill and went for a covid test, and was awaiting the result. As it was the day before Christmas, we decided to postpone our family lunch as we didn’t want to risk passing covid onto my dad. We were all double vaccinated, but the shots don’t prevent transmission. I called my Dad, expecting him to want to meet up, but he understood the situation.
Our Covid Cooking
As we had already purchased the food, I suggested that my Dad and I continue to prepare the meals and I would be the delivery service. As the turkey was cooking, I turned on the BBQ for pre-eating, and prepared the vegetables – I boiled the corn and put the pumpkin in at the last moment. After slicing the eggplant and zucchini, and chopping up the mushrooms, I checked the turkey, opened the foil and added oil.
I lightly cooked the veggies on the BBQ, and by this time the turkey was ready, and I took it out, sliced it up and gave a taste test for Spartacus, our cat. As he is a fussy eater, I was glad that he gobbled it down and wanted more.
Ben asked that the meals for himself and his fiancee, Nikki, be frozen for future consumption. I set aside their share of the turkey and vegetables, some for myself and my Dad, and two for Jasmine and Bailey.
Para Eats to my Dad
I gave a name to my delivery service, lending on the business ‘Uber Eats’, combining my disability and now I was delivered for ‘Para Eats’. After driving my VW Transporter to my Dad’s driveway, he wobbled out and we wished each other a Merry Christmas without getting too close to each other. I asked him previously to divide his vegetables into two containers, with one going to my next delivery location, and the other for Ben, Nikki and myself. Dad gave his Christmas greeting to everyone else, and I recorded it on phone.
Para Eats delivers to Jasmine and Bailey
The next stop was the home of Jasmine and Bailey, and they came out to grab the foot and exchange Christmas greetings. Jasmine was wearing and mask and gloves, and Bailey didn’t seem to be 1.5 metres from her. Jasmine’s test would come through after Christmas Day, and she had contracted covid with only mild symptoms. For a virus that is meant to be easily transmissible, Bailey didn’t catch it.
I finally get to eat
I managed to prepare and cook the food, deliver it to two locations and complete the task within five minutes of the goal. Would my customers give me a great tip and review on Para Eats? I ate my Christmas lunch at 315pm with Spartacus and felt exhausted, but happy for a few reasons.
Covid did interrupt the Christmas celebrations for my family, but I was glad that my Dad and I could provide food to our family. My Dad’s attitude is to keep doing things in life, and he gets no help around the home and prefers to do it for himself. His attitude has helped me cope with acquiring a disability, as I also try to get things done independently. However, that evening I did ask my carer to help stack the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen.
A few weeks later we had our Christmas meal in the form of takeaway food from Nandos. I’m hoping and praying that covid will not affect our 2022 Christmas celebrations.
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More information about me is found at johnduthie.com