Working Through a Pandemic

It has been since February since I have written anything other than Facebook Posts. Covid19 blew into town shortly after I wrote my last post like a hurricane that would just not stop. What has it been like working through a pandemic you may ask. Not easy is the overall answer.

2020 Has turned into a year that no amount of imagining could have predicted. You will call me crazy I am sure but I am happy. I feel a bit guilty for being happy and maybe some of that happiness comes from luck.

I am so Lucky

You know I work at one of the greatest little pizza shops in the whole world. Yeah, I know I’m biased but I also write the blog soooo. Antonios has been able to weather the storm of Covid19 fairly well. Don’t get me wrong we have our struggles and on some days I think we all would like to throw in the towel or in my case the mask! But we also love what we do and it shows in our food and the support we have received from our customers.

If you would have ever asked me if I would know what it was like to work in a restaurant through a pandemic I would have said hell no. But here we are. So I am going to run it down for you. At first, it was scary and panic-inducing.

Scary because one I have asthma, two the unknown that can kill you is always a little scary. Add in the fact restaurants are closing and the industry I love is, was, and will be decimated.

We are lucky We are still working through a pandemic

That’s when the panic sets in. How will I make a living? I left the professional world of pants suits and meetings behind long ago. I vowed to do only the things I loved because life was too short to do anything but.

It is hard to sleep at night.

Fast forward and here we are into July and so far we are still serving pizzas to the greatest customers in the world. I could go into all the challenges it entails and how it can still cause panic and fear. but it is easier to say we are doing it, it is going to be alright.

It is still hard to sleep at night.

A Message for Restaurant Customers

I am moved to write the remaining part of this post to the public at large from all my friends in this business. So you understand what it is like to be working through a pandemic. This is from California where I have friends who have not worked in months except to feed other essential workers. To Minnesota where my cousin works for a James Beard-winning restaurant that turned into a take out pizza shop.

Be kind to those who are serving you. they are doing their very best. Please follow the rules and directions they give you. Collectivity we are having to make changes on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis, and sometimes they don’t make sense to you or us but they are what we must do. The industry I love has made an absolutely tremendous effort to pivot our business models to keep as many businesses as we can afloat. To keep as many people working as we can.

There is something very intense about this business. it is built on dreams and it is family recipes and it is hot sweaty work. Most of us do it because we love it to the core of our being. We are watching our friends and other dreamers lose what they tried so hard to build. The effects of this will be with those of us who breathe this industry for a very long time.

There will one day be books written about working through a pandemic in 2020. Someone will tell the story of what it was like working through a Pandemic. I am sad one of those books will not be written by Anthony Bourdain because he spoke for our industry. If you are even the least bit curious about what drives those of us that have served you food all through this Pandemic give these two books a read. Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw

Now please be kind to us, listen to what we say. This is our profession and we love it and we are doing our very best!