COVID-19 might have put a major damper on our social lives, but there’s still plenty of ways to socialize safely with smart BBQs, parties, and outdoor get-togethers. Simply follow the rules and tips that we’ve outlined below, and you will be sure to get your dose of interaction in a way that still limits the spread of COVID-19.
Keep the Festivities Outside
The absolute most important tip for safe entertaining during COVID-19 is to keep all of the festivities outside. Scientists almost universally agree that sunlight and fresh air stop the virus from spreading as much. Indoor spaces are far more dangerous, so fire up the grill for that summer BBQ and socialize outdoors instead. There’s plenty of things to do in the great outdoors!
Group hikes combine the fun of getting out in the fresh air with friends and have the added benefit of exercise. Plus, since hiking is an outdoor activity, you can feel much safer if you encounter strangers on your adventure. Make a list of local hiking destinations and try to tackle them over the course of the summer.
Themed events are always fun, and BBQs are no exception. The summer is full of major holidays, so don’t let them pass by without celebrating. Do a small, socially distanced themed event to remind people that there’s still space for summer fun.
Al Fresco Movie Night
There are a few options for your alfresco movie night. You could head out to your local drive-in and check out a new movie on the big screen. Alternatively, you could create your own outdoor theater with a projector and a blank wall. Either way, this is a fun, old fashioned summertime experience that you don’t want to miss.
Limit the Size of Your Gathering
Safely socializing during the COVID-19 pandemic means having smaller gatherings. It’s not like in the past where everyone and their grandmother could attend. Although we’re no longer locked in our homes, we are still supposed to be socializing in “guarantees”, or small groups of people who’ve assessed each others’ risk factors. Make sure that you only have between ten to fifteen people at any gathering. Although it may be hard to pick which friends you want to come, it’s vital to keeping everyone safe and healthy during this difficult time.
Have a Sanitizer Station
Sanitizing properly is the best way to get rid of COVID-19 germs. Don’t let your guests walk around with dirty hands. Instead, set up a sanitizer station with wipes and liquid sanitizer so that they can routinely wash their hands without having to leave the fun of the party. If you have separate tables for your guests, consider putting hand sanitizer on each one.
Avoid Shared Dips
Everyone loves chips and guacamole, but COVID-19 is not the right time to be sharing dips. You want to limit the number of hands that touch any piece of a given food, which is why individual appetizers are the way to go. They don’t need to be super fancy either, just small portions of your favorite foods that guests can eat with one bite. We’ve compiled some suggestions below.
- Pigs in a blanket
- Miniature quiches in a variety of flavors
- Cupcakes or muffins
- Burger sliders
These foods are crowd-pleasers are will be sure to keep your guests happy and full until the main dishes come out.
Manage Dinner Dishes
Of course, your main dishes will most likely not be bite-sized, but you can combat COVID-19 by leaving them covered and, if applicable, refrigerated until the last minute. Then, designate one person to dish out the food. This limits the number of people you have using utensils.
Make Sure the Bathroom Is Fully Accessible
Even if your event is outdoors, people will need to go inside to use the bathroom. Make sure that the bathroom is either clearly marked, or you show your guests where it is when they arrive. You should also make sure that you put paper towels and either hand sanitizer or liquid soap in the bathroom. Bar soap and cloth towels can both harbor COVID-19.
Have Some Rules
Since everyone has different boundaries when it comes to COVID-19, it’s vital that you lay out your expectations in advance. Talk to people about how you’d like them to behave. Advance communication is the best way to avoid ugly confrontations or hurt feelings on the day of your party.
Impose the “No Extra Guests” Rule
Although it might usually be okay for friends and family to bring extra guests, COVID-19 is not the time to play around with new people. Make sure that your guests know that they cannot bring a plus one. Again, talk to them in advance to avoid hurt feelings.
Have Some Extra Masks Just in Case
Plan ahead! Have some extra masks just in case someone wants one. If you are hosting a party with children, it’s fun to have some cute themed masks that they can wear.
Although COVID-19 has put a big damper on summertime fun, you can still see the people that matter most to you. Make some simple adjustments