I taught my roommate to cook so he wouldn’t go to the deli and bring the virus home with him

I taught my roommate to cook so he wouldn’t go to the deli and bring the virus home with him

My roommate showed curiosity about the Italian food culture I take for granted. Perfect! We would cook Italian food together, so he wouldn’t have to go out.

“Did you make the pasta from scratch?,” asked my 85-year-old Italian grandmother, when we talked on FaceTime in mid-April. 

“I bought the pasta at the supermarket, but we are making the bechamel ourselves,” I answered. She shook her head in disapproval. I was in my claustrophobic New York City kitchen with my roommate, who was at the stove, stirring the creamy sauce with a wooden spoon. For the first time since I moved to New York from Puglia in August, 2019, I was making a tray of homemade lasagna.

You might think I was doing it for pleasure, or to occupy time. But if I have to be honest, I was making it for survival.

Today things have eased up, but in April, New York was the world epicenter of the pandemic, and the best thing to do was to stay home as much as possible. I imagine that it might have been easier living alone, or with a partner. But when you share an apartment, like most of us do in New York, you might have to deal with the unpredictability of others. And if your roommates ignored your pleas for safety, and stubbornly went out multiple times a day to buy sandwiches or a Coke, entering supermarkets and delis, they increased the risk they would bring the virus home with them. And to you.

read more: thecounter.org

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