Get Out There

How to Gather Responsibly and Have Fun

The CDC has advised people against gatherings of any size, in location if they don’t live in the same home. ( That includes outdoor areas like parks. It’s even more critical for older people or people with medical concerns to keep their distance. Additionally, many areas have rules against gathering.

However, while it might be the safest route, lots of people aren’t following them. And we don’t blame them. It’s tough to go for long periods without seeing people you love. That’s when it becomes essential to follow the rules to be as safe as possible while meeting up.

Stay outside. Meet up at parks if they are available or in a yard if you can remain six feet apart. It’s better if you can be farther than that. Place chairs as far apart as you can be without shouting. ( Be sure everyone has hand sanitizers and can clean the chair before they sit down — or bring their own. Going for a walk is a great idea. And it’s far safer than a picnic because your masks stay on and you don’t touch the same things. Ask people not to come if they are feeling under the weather.

Tailgating is an excellent way of spending time together. You can sit on your own cars a good way apart from each other, enjoy food from your own homes and spend time together comfortably. ( If you plan a summer party, have someone healthy and at low risk, go to the supermarket toy section to pick up sidewalk chalk and bottles of bubble water. Each child can have their own chalk and a small bottle of bubbles without sharing with a child from another household. Kids can also keep them as a party gift. We suggest skipping cornhole or bocce. They might be summer staples, but the games require people to touch the same objects.

While some sites suggest giving out soap or masks as a party favor, we suggest skipping that nicety altogether, unless it’s hand sanitizer. Taking an object from one home into another is always going to be a risk. While food deliveries are handled by professionals following guidelines, your friends might not be keeping to the same standards as you are.

While potlucks are always a nice idea, we suggest that you keep parties as BYOE — bring your own everything — until the crisis is over. Meat straight off the grill is most likely safe to share, but food (especially the containers) from other people’s homes, may not be. ( If you do decide to have a potluck, don’t share serving utensils or pitchers of lemonade.

While we usually like sustainable things, disposable plates, glasses and utensils from home are most likely your safest option. If you plan on having people in your yard, you can assume that someone may have to use your bathroom — especially if there are children present. Obviously, everyone wants to have a clean bathroom when company comes. But, right now, it’s more important than ever. You might have cute hand towels you’ve used for summer BBQs in the past, leave them in the drawer. Instead, buy some paper towels, or have paper napkins by the sink, cutting down on people touching the same surfaces is important. (

This year’s parties require a lot more thought than usual. It might seem like a huge undertaking. But if the options are becoming ill, being all by yourself or taking extra precautions, the precautions, while irritating, are the best way to enjoy your summer. With the long weekend coming up, we hope that these tips can make your day fun and safer!

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