Being removed from loved ones and friends indefinitely is likely the most difficult problem a lot of people are suffering with during the current Coronavirus pandemic, with billions of people around the world urged to stay at home to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Next on that list would likely be the inability to enjoy our favourite restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes. Those neighbourhood spots or popular chains we once took for granted, where so much of our time and money were spent after work and at the weekends, now resembling the establishments of ghost towns or, at best, reduced to skeleton staffs, pumping out deliveries to a desperate public.
With a confirmed date for widespread reopenings unlikely to be revealed any time soon in most countries, the indefinite nature of the separation from ‘business as usual’ normal life is almost unbearable, with the majority of us yearning to know when we can next sink a carefree beer or cocktail with our nearest and dearest or plough through a hangover curing bottomless brunch on a Saturday afternoon.
In Asia, however, a fleeting glimpse at some sort of normality is available, with diners in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taipei now able to enjoy meals inside restaurants once again, with lockdowns being lifted due to a, so far, effective response in suppressing the covid-19 outbreak.
World renowned chef, Momofoku mogul and Netflix favourite David Chang took to Twitter to ask diners in these countries what their experiences are now like and what new measures have been implemented to keep both them and the restaurant workers safe.
It didn’t take long for Chang to be inundated with a plethora of photos and information, sharing what dining experiences could have in store for us in the UK and US in the near future.
Staff disinfect tableware and cutlery in front of you at your table. pic.twitter.com/1cS4pcztKE— Paul Lin (@tribal) April 18, 2020
While some of the photos and protocols may seem jarring, when considering just how different the normal dining out experience could be, there is also a large amount of reassurance that comes from seeing people dining out again, even if under alternative circumstances. Also, the extensive health and safety measures being implemented offers a degree of comfort, even if it is still a far cry from what we would ordinarily be used to when heading out for a meal or a couple of drinks.