Fun Tips for Fall Get-Togethers (and Covid, Ugh, again).
The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are beginning to drop and fall is just around the corner. It is that time of year when some of the events that make us love the season are here: football, tailgating, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The return to social life inside and outside of the home is a welcome change, but we are doing it with caution-again! The very small window most of us felt earlier this summer has now been replaced by the weary acceptance that this virus is not going away anytime soon. But we had a taste of sweet freedom and we are not ready to give it up!
We can still plan events and have a fun gathering by planning cautiously and integrating precautions to make it a fun and safe environment for all.
Below are some tips gathered from experts to help you, your family, and your friends enjoy parties and get-togethers without Covid anxiety.
* Plan for safety. Plan your tailgate ahead of time so you can tell your game plan to all those attending to ensure that you have all the necessary supplies on hand.
* Get the message out that you are serious about be socially responsible. As soon as plans for a tailgate start circulating, make sure to tell those invited that you’re committed to keeping a safe party environment. Be clear about what that means: masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing.
* Keep your tailgate outdoors. Outdoors is the safest place for a social gathering, even in colder temperatures. If it looks like rain (or snow), bring a tent and dress for the weather. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
* Pack your supplies. Pack everything you and the other tailgaters might need for a safe and fun event:
- Spare disposable masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Antibacterial wipes for hard surfaces
- Bright colored painter’s tape to mark off socially distanced spots to park chairs.
- Individually wrapped snacks.
- Single-serve beverages or Solo cups with names.
- A long table to keep food outdoors and spaced out.
- Space chairs out beforehand and ask guests that they not move them.
* Snack packs aren’t just for kids’ lunches. All your favorite tailgate snacks are available in single-serve packages. From chips and salsa to nuts and popcorn, you can have it all and minimize direct contact between guests. As an alternative, tell guests to BYOS (bring your own snacks). This way, each family can share among themselves without having to buy anything special.
* Arrive early to set up your space. Make it easy for guests to stay socially distant by marking off x’s on the ground for chair placement or standing. Guests won’t have to guess, and they’ll have a reminder of where to stand to maintain a safe distance.
Remember: Stay informed and adjust for success!
“There is no doubt that fall sports have everyone excited, but circumstances can change overnight,” says Dr. Sensenig of Riverside Medical. “The keys to thriving during a pandemic are to stay informed, be flexible and adapt as new information becomes available.”
Excerpted from Riverside Medical online
Organize a small group of friends and neighbors who want to celebrate Halloween ut don’t want their little ones going door to door.
- Find an area, a cul-de-sac is ideal, in your neighborhood or apartment complex where you can spread out tables and without the worry of a lot of traffic.
- Use cones and lights to identify the area to neighbors who may be driving through.
- Create a ‘map’ of the area to designate where tables will go so everyone knows where to set up with minimal confusion.
- Have a candy sign-up beforehand to avoid duplicate candy types.
- Break the kids into small groups-one group can play Halloween games while the other is trick or treating and then switch to avoid bottlenecking at the tables.
- Have your kiddos use costumes with face masks for an extra layer of protection or use a mask as part of the costume. For example, paint whiskers and a nose on a black mask, add kitty ears and Voila! You have the top half of a kitty costume.
- Relax at your decorated table, sit back and watch the kiddos enjoy Halloween!
Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday of the year. It has the warmth, family, and food of Christmas without the pressure of gift giving. This will be the second pandemic Thanksgiving and I think it will be better this year as we become more accustomed to this new normal.
Some tips for a larger Thanksgiving gathering:
- Create a sign up for a potluck style Thanksgiving Dinner.
- Have each guest BYOB and drinking cups or glasses.
- Use paper plates and plastic forks, knives and spoons
- Create small clusters of tables for families with some distance in between each cluster if possible.
- Have guests go through the food line one or two tables at a time.
- Put trash bins around the room or area so trash is disposed of quickly and easily.
- Ask each guest to take their leftovers and dishes home without washing or moving food to smaller receptacles.
- Put hand sanitizer on each table and have extra masks available.
- Hold the event outdoors. Rent a few propane heaters and/or prepare a fire pit if its going to be cold. You can do even S’mores for dessert.
- Keep it simple. It's about being together, not the fine china or good crystal!
There has been a collective sigh of relief since the world has opened up again. We are social creatures and appreciate our family and friends more than ever. Let’s keep getting together and celebrating! It is possible to have successful events that are fun and safe. The key this fall is to be creative and flexible!