Sunday, March 15, 2020

Donation: Penance for my own poor behavior

Dear Instacart,

I would like to pay for the delivery of groceries to people who are in quarantine (not isolation) in Seneca County, NY. I do not intend to pay for their groceries but only for the Instacart costs (i.e., shopping and delivery). Thank you for the responsible steps you've taken as a business. 

This is penance, albeit not recommended by any man-of-the-cloth, for my own semi-irresponsible behavior, as detailed in the linked Boston Globe article. I am still asymptomatic and feeling strong more than three and a half weeks later. (Ms Swineheart, please apologize to the women who checked me out and bagged my groceries on the 18th of February, if they were nervous after I left.)

I would like to prioritize, first, people entering into solo quarantine and, second, only "Forks Over Knives" or vegan food delivery. I am willing to donate up to $500.00 for this purpose. If this attempt to coordinate works well, we can scale it up in the Ithaca and Finger Lakes region or beyond. 

Perhaps obviously, I want the parties to this message (Seneca County Health, Green Star Food Co+op, Instacart, and Forks Over Knives) to respect the privacy of people who may need to quarantine in the county. I felt very vulnerable during that time.

If such an effort already exists or is happening, I would be happy to have Instacart put me in touch with the place to which such a donation should be sent, even if it is utilized outside of Seneca County. If this major problem is being addressed in some other way, perhaps the county health department is aware.

Many details need to be worked out. Notably, people arriving at a port of entry and headed to Seneca County for quarantine need to be informed that this grocery shopping and delivery option is available before they do their own shopping. I understand that most people in quarantine are probably not returning from abroad so we need to understand better the point at which these folks need to learn that this grocery shopping and delivery option is available. 

Forks Over Knives 🍴, if they choose to participate, should provide three or four menu options at different price points for two-week menu plans to Instacart and/or the county health department(s). Shopping lists that instruct which aisle products/produce would normally be found are easily generated by their current tools.

Let me know if you would be willing to cooperate with this effort to solve a systemic problem that faces individuals entering quarantine. I am confident that we could use GoFundMe or a similar platform to raise considerable funds for this worthwhile effort.

I know this message puts many of you and your employers on the spot, but time is of the essence to solve this critical problem during American Social Distancing Week One. Pardon the aggressive tactic that I am employing. I know the smallest county health departments across the state and nation are likely to be overwhelmed soon by the burden of caring for the likes of me. This is, I hope, one way businesses can partner to reduce the load.

Walk in balance,

Alexander Lee

Walk in balance,

Alexander Lee

Sent from my iThang

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