Your summer is not over yet. There is still time to have fun in the sun, even though the experience may be a little different than what you are used to. Yes, COVID-19 has changed a lot of our daily lives, including how we enjoy summer, but don’t let it get you down. There are still ways to socially distance and celebrate your friends and family too.
Though it is not recommended by scientists, as long as you are following social distancing guidelines and wearing masks, you can still enjoy your summer barbeques and pool parties. Yard games are a great way to socially distance and enjoy the outdoors. Grab your custom made cornhole boards, have a frozen margarita, and hang out by the pool. Here are a few more ideas to consider when planning an end of summer party during these times.
Follow Social Distance Guidelines
No matter what, social distancing guidelines should be followed if you are going to have a gathering of people either at your house or a venue. Make sure that your event is outside or at a venue with good airflow. Maintaining the guidance of six feet apart is another way to stay extra safe during your party. As long as you are following these two important guidelines, you can decrease the chances of the virus spreading if there is someone infected at the party.
IDEA: A friend of mine attended a wedding recently where they used the “stoplight system”. Using Green, Yellow, and Red wrist bands, each guest could communicate their level of comfort with the social distancing guidelines. Green = I’m OK and I’m healthy, let’s hug. Yellow = I feel OK, but I would like a little more space. Red = NO hugging and maximum guidelines. This gave guests the visual guidelines for everyone’s comfort level.
Keep The Party Small
It is understandable that you have not seen your very best friends or family members in a long time. Since everyone is working remotely, it can be very tempting to visit another city to see family and friends. This is ok, especially for special events you can’t miss, as long as you keep the number small.
You want to be sure that you have enough room in whatever space you are use and space every table and chair six feet apart. Be vigilant about keeping social distancing guidelines, even when you see a small group starting to gather. As a host, you should set the standards because guests will look to you for guidance, and encourage people to keep their distance from each other.
Disinfect As You Set Up
You may need to go the extra mile when setting up gatherings to properly social distance. All the tables, chairs, and surfaces you or your guests will be using or touching needs to be disinfected. If you do not have any disinfectant, you can add four teaspoons of bleach per quart of room temperature water. Please note that your cleaners, including your DIY disinfectant, typically need at least one minute of contact time to successfully disinfect before you can start to wipe it dry. I recently hosted my bridal shower where I offered each guest a mask at the welcome table and also hand sanitizer. I also had a contactless thermometer for people to use across their foreheads to ensure they were not showing any symptoms before entering the party.
Everyone Wear A Mask
Requiring that everyone wear a mask when they are not eating or drinking is the recommended route for hosting gatherings. If you think it may be difficult to socially distance during your event a mask can be very helpful. Keep in mind with any of these suggestions, please follow the advice of the CDC and local healthcare professionals.