Balancing rights and responsibilities, the search for social grace in the age of social distancing.

Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Mary. She was a cook in private homes in New York and New Jersey in the early twentieth century. She had quite the reputation as a cook, her employers were particularly fond of her ice cream recipe. When she left one place of employment, her next employer would be the beneficiary of her art in the kitchen, their dinner parties having a special new sparkle. Around 1907, after there had been severe typhoid outbreaks, the health authorities of…