While people are in self-isolation to help stop the spread of coronavirus, there are many inconveniences that have arisen. Early on, people were struggling to find toilet paper because others were hoarding massive amounts in fear that they wouldn’t be able to get any in stores later. That’s even still an issue today as panic shopping continues.
The issue of groceries has been prominent this entire self isolation. People fear going out to the stores, and when they do, there is little there. Grocery delivery is an option, but there is still risk of infection from the items you receive, and more often than not, you receive less than you ordered.
While some people are able to lean on friends or family for supplies, or rely on themselves to hunt down necessary items at multiple stores, there are others who don’t have those opportunities. That’s why a Master Chef contestant has been feeding his elderly neighbor through the quarantine.
Anthony O’Shaughnessy is a U.K based chef who also appeared on Master Chef, the cooking competition show. He has been upholding a tradition for the past month that will make your heart melt. Every night he calls up his elderly neighbor and asks if he would like a plate of the food he’s prepared for that night. The man’s name is Peter. He is 70 and has lived in his home for over four decades. It seems that this just might be karma coming back to him. He used to help O’Shaughnessy’s grandmother with help around the house and garden.
O’Shaughnessy told TODAY, "When the lockdown was announced in the U.K., we were concerned for him because we know he has had health problems the last few years. We found his phone number, which we kept for emergencies, and we called him to check he was ok.”
This all started when Peter struggled to get groceries for himself. He ordered online, but the order was cancelled not once but twice. After finally getting an order through, it was missing many items. That’s when O’Shaughnessy decided to wrap up some food and give it to his neighbor. "I had made some roast beef and vegetables for dinner. I made an apple crisp also, so I plated that up, too. I left the tray on his doorstep, rang the bell and stood at his gate so I was at a safe distance. We had a little chat and I told him what I had made. We have continued that ritual since."
O’Shaugnessy posted about it on twitter and got over 400,000 likes. He tweeted, “I've been feeding the old man next door for about a month now. I ring him before I make dinner so I know to make extra. I just called to let him know what I'm making tonight: Broccoli Parmesan Farfalle and Lime-Frosted Carrot Cake. 'I look forward to this every day' he said.”
O’Shaughnessy sees it as a good opportunity to test his culinary skills. "I realized that my meals are giving him a great experience while he is at home, and it has encouraged me to make them as delicious as possible. It’s a nice challenge for me: How much joy can I put into a plate of food?"
This has also been a great way for the two of them to get to know each other. While their paths may have not otherwise crossed, they are now good friends who know a lot about each other. "I never realized how much I had in common with my neighbor. I think it’s wonderful that we have the same taste in world foods, and I’ve never shared that with anybody in my family or community. It’s nice to be helping somebody with a rich life experience, and his service in the navy makes me feel like it’s an ongoing reward he deserves!"