As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world, governments scramble to find solutions for the unexpected hit, and health providers fight with whatever resources they have to treat those caught by the virus.
“During the past two months, China has struggled with the epidemic, our victories are still very fragile. Internal infections are decreasing daily, but the number of imported cases, from travelers, is increasing. The government is worried it will become a vicious circle. This crisis will fundamentally change social and economic development. It will make us think about whether we need globalization, or what kind of globalization we should pursue.” Vittorio Sun, China
The global health crisis is bound to morph into an economic crisis, as businesses, schools, museums, restaurants, and governmental organizations, among others; close to help flatten the curve of the spread. For many, working from home is a possibility, but for millions around the world work demands to physically engage with the product and with customers. For farmers, producers, cooks, among others whose livelihood depends on direct contact with customers, weeks of staying home means no income.
“Many self-employed workers and small businesses we support with the movement are threatened by behavior change and closures. We encourage people to support local and independent businesses, as well as our farmers and artisans, because they are the ones who are the most at risk right now.” Bobby Grégoire, Canada
As we receive messages from our network around the world, where the ripple effect of the crisis is shaking the ground, we send a message of solidarity and a reminder to unite as one global community, working together to lift each other, and to extend a hand to those working the land to feed us good, clean, and fair food.
“This is a crisis that needs community more than ever. As a community we need to do what is reasonable to keep our most vulnerable safe. However, even as we do this we cannot allow “self isolation” to mean destruction of social contact. We can and must now more than ever use what we can to keep our communities connected.” Caroline McCann, South Africa.
In Italy, from North to South, people are moving to give a hand, as they can, to those who are on the front line: donating supplies, or bringing food, like take-away pizzas to doctors and nurses who work tirelessly in hospitals.
“This is the case of the pizza chefs of the Slow Food Alliance in Lombardy, and of all the artisans, pastry chefs, bakers and cooks of the Slow Food Torino network who deliver many delicacies free of charge to hospitals to give support and a smile to those who have been working non-stop for weeks to fight this pandemic.”
As the effects of the closures begin to weigh in, our network finds way to continue their work, reaching out to the community to find new platforms, and creative initiatives.
“Slow Food Turda plans to reorganize the activities for this period, since we work mostly with schools and today the government announced that schools would remain closed at least until 19th of April. We are thinking to work on developing an online activity plan with recipes based on seasonal products, also emergency food and how to avoid food waste. We plan do a new FB page with live cooking activity on different themes, Ex. how to make bread, what to cook with seasonal ingredients you can find at local producers and in nature, how to make pasta, how to cook rise, what to cook with and without meat, the world of bees and so on.” Marta and SF Turda team, Romania
It is during this difficult time, when we can connect with our community in different ways. Get in touch with local farmers, responsible producers, and food outlets, and support initiatives that help to keep the local economy moving. Respecting local health authorities and the advice to keep everyone safe, while creating resilience within each community’s food system to fair the difficulties ahead.
“In Latin America, the effects of this Pandemic have already begun to appear, which adds to other serious problems that our continent suffers, such as the loss of biodiversity, other diseases such as dengue and malaria, poverty and the installation of capitalist governments that threaten strongly our rights and sovereignty in food, health, economy, etc. We are in solidarity with our friends from around the world, who are currently suffering the most critical consequences of the coronavirus, and we hope that our own communities and governments will learn from those painful experiences.” Rita Moya, Chile