Depending on where you live, restrictions on social gatherings may become less strict in the coming weeks and months. However, many experts caution that care should still be exercised when groups of people gather.
After an extended period without social contact, it’s only natural to crave some interaction, and there’s evidence that doing so can be advantageous for your mental health. However, taking precautions to protect your physical health, along with your guests’, can make for a more enjoyable event.
Keep it contained. Limit your gatherings to a few close friends or family members so if someone does get sick, contact tracing is a simple task. Keep in mind the number of same-household families you invite is more important than the number of people in that family. For example, one family of six that has already been living in close quarters poses a lower risk than three couples living in separate houses. Also, be mindful of your guests’ approach to prevention; if they’ve been less cautious than your family or vice versa, there’s room for conflict and anxiety.
Celebrate outdoors. Indoor event spaces naturally have less circulation, meaning potential airborne particles hang around longer. Planning your gathering outdoors helps ensure more free-moving fresh air and more space for guests to spread out and practice social distancing.
Encourage guests to bring their own. It may go against all your good hosting inclinations but hosting a bring-your-own party eliminates shared food and the risk of cross-contamination. You can provide disposable table service (plates, silverware and napkins) and single-serve beverages, but skip the cooler everyone reaches into.
Provide ample, well-spaced seating. Encourage guests to keep some distance from one another by creating comfy seating arrangements. You can take it a step farther by asking guests to bring their own chairs and directing each family to set up its space a reasonable distance from the next.
Make cleanliness a priority. Create stations with hand sanitizer or wipes. You can also create a makeshift sink to minimize trips to the restroom indoors. Provide a spray bottle or bucket, soap and paper towels near the hose for quick clean-ups.
Find more advice for navigating pandemic life at eLivingtoday.com.