The novel Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact all of our daily lives, including our dining routines. I want to know: are you willing to eat at a buffet right now?

No, seriously: will you be hitting up a restaurant that offers buffet-style dining anytime soon? I am going to say that's a HARD PASS for me--and not just because of COVID-19. I am an unrepentant germaphobe, so I have always avoided buffets.

My buffet fear has nothing to do with restaurant staff or owners as I worked my way through college with various service industry jobs, one of which was waiting tables at a Shoney's. I remember how hard the kitchen crew, servers, and managers worked to ensure that food was prepared safely and that the buffet itself stayed clean.

I am terrified of buffets because I saw how the restaurant patrons behaved. People are just downright nasty, y'all. I have seen people walk out of a restroom in which they did NOT wash their hands and then head straight to the breakfast buffet where they grabbed the tongs to stockpile French Toast sticks like the apocalypse was imminent.

I've seen people cough into their hands and then visit the salad bar, rubbing their gross hands all over plates and utensils.

I've witnessed people pick wedgies before ladling a cup of soup.

I know the kind of nastiness of which the general public is capable, so I've always been afraid of hitting up the buffet. Even if I were equipped with a Super Soaker filled with Purell, I would still avoid sharing utensils in the buffet line.

Add a pandemic into the mix, and I have to tell you, friend: NO.

I might consider it if every patron were required to wear a mask and disposable gloves before filling a pate, but people are out in these streets pitching fits over having to put on a mask to go to Costco, so... no buffets in my future.

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