Crispy cheddar eggs

I’m writing this week’s column from home as I’ve been self-quarantining. We unfortunately came into contact with an elderly relative while attending a memorial in Boston last week who has since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and have learned firsthand how unprepared our health system is to deal with the upcoming onslaught of cases. She was brought to one of the top hospitals in Boston with severe pneumonia and it took lots of phone calls by her team to get her approved to be tested as the Department of Health was saying her pneumonia wasn’t severe enough. She remained in isolation in ICU as her condition deteriorated; 18 hours later her test kit was finally approved for submission. After two days, her first test came back negative, but since the test is only 70 percent accurate, a second test was required. Two days later, that one came back positive. She has the virus.

There is no treatment for the virus at this time, and in order to better fight the virus she was put on a ventilator two days ago. We have been managing her situation long distance, and she has stabilized, but a lot of damage to her lungs has already been done.

Through it all the nurses and doctors have been incredible! However, they have not been shy about expressing their frustration with the lack of preparedness at what is widely regarded as one of the best hospitals in Boston. They also told us that the number of cases has increased dramatically at their hospital alone in just the last three days, and if she was to arrive at the hospital today, it would be unlikely that either a bed or a ventilator would be available.

I tell you all this to implore you to take our current health crisis seriously if you aren’t already. It is true that the elderly and folks with underlying health issues are most at risk, but as a younger healthier person, by not social distancing when possible or outright ignoring common sense, you are putting many people at risk in our community, including other younger, healthier people, as well as yourself. Please read up and take the necessary actions!

And while you’re social distancing, you still have to eat. Eggs are an affordable source of protein that last a long time in the fridge and with a little extra effort can also be a pretty amazing meal.

Splash some olive oil into a medium-size nonstick pan and set over medium heat. Grate some cheddar cheese and set aside. Crack a couple of eggs into a small bowl and slide them into the hot pan, salt and pepper, and then turn the heat down to medium-low. After a minute, spread the grated cheese on top of and around the eggs directly onto the bottom of the pan, that’s where the crispy is going to come from. Cover the pan, wait a minute, and then turn the heat off completely. The cover doesn’t have to be the exact size, but better to be larger than smaller than the pan.