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Etiquette and social distancing: new table manners to adopt

Etiquette is that set of behaviors to adopt at the table, at the home of guests, on the street, which is the basis of a good education. It is a code that was born in an unwritten form, but which is then discussed and treated by many authors, from Erasmus of Rotterdam to the Italian Giovanni Della Casa, who in 1555 ended a book from which the term precisely comes from.

The rules at the table are many and are often curious or forgotten, such as not leaning on the back of the chair in the restaurant, or remembering not to eat bread during breaks between courses.

Thinking about etiquette immediately leads us to two opposing ideas: certain formal or business receptions, which are moments in which we must strive not to make mistakes, and some catastrophic images of the films that are always worth reviewing.

I’m talking above all about the dinner in The Second Tragic Fantozzi (at the home of the Countess Serbelloni Mazzanti ViendalMare) and the reception with the President of the United States ruined by Leslie Nielsen in The naked gun : the smell of fear!

Assuming that I hope everyone knows how to behave a little better than this at the table, especially at dinner with Presidents and Countesses, we must remember that we are in the midst of an extraordinary situation and therefore even the most attentive must engage more in the behaviors to adopt at the table.

Coronavirus indeed is also changing the rules of behavior to be followed during meals, even the most informal ones.

In family

The famous question of relatives now allows moments of conviviality between small groups, who must meet at a distance and with a mask.

This means that you can not yet have extended lunches and dinners, but you must not lower your guard even during meals with your cohabitants: you must always wash your hands thoroughly before sitting down to eat, rinse bottles and jars before placing them on the table, wash the cutting boards and, if it is possible, avoid passing food with your hands.

The real challenge, however, concerns restaurants: between the pressures of the workers in the sector and the desire of the Italians to start all over again, their opening would seem to be disputed between the State and the Regions, with the first one fixing the reopening on June 1 and many Governors who press for 18 instead.

The other big open question is: how should we behave at the restaurant?

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