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DINING DILEMMA

How to ethically order takeout food during a pandemic

An Uber Eats food delivery courier wearing a protective face mask rides a bicycle as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Reuters/ Eva Plevier
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  • Olivia Goldhill
By Olivia Goldhill

Science reporter

Published

During a pandemic, even the simplest actions, like ordering takeout food, take on ethical weight.

Economies that thrive on gig workers and convenience have created a market of easily-accessible endless food options, delivered by legions of precariously-employed workers. Coronavirus shifts the balance of that transaction.

Any time we summon food to our doors—whether basic groceries or indulgent takeout—delivery workers expose themselves to potential contagion en route. Failing to order food, though, only deprives delivery workers of income and takes money out of an already dismal economy.

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