Months of stay-at-home orders have kept many people cooped up in their homes without much socialization. To the relief of many, states have begun to loosen restrictions on stay-at-home orders and expand the list of activities to include dining out, getting your nails done, and more.
As your state or town opens, you might wonder whether hanging out with friends is safe. Answer: Sort of. Here, you’ll learn how to socialize safely in small groups while remaining socially distanced with the proper protective equipment.
You may be feeling hesitant to socialize with your squad or hit up the beach, and that’s natural. The more close encounters you have with others, the higher your risk of catching COVID-19. While there is no guarantee you’ll be 100% protected from infection, following Centers of Disease Control (CDC) guidelines can increase your odds of staying healthy and safe.
CDC guidelines for hanging out with friends:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds at a time
- Avoid close contact with others by keeping a 6-foot distance between you and others outside your household
- Wear a face mask over your mouth and nose when around others
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
- Sanitize, clean, and disinfect high-touch point surfaces
- Monitor your own health for symptoms and take your temperature
Which Activities Are Safe?
Understanding the potential risk of certain activities and taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is key when you decide to socialize. Answering the questions below may help you mitigate the risk in certain activities, and decide if the social gathering is a safe one.
- Is COVID-19 spreading in your community?
- Will you have close contact with someone who is sick or not wearing a mask?
- Are you at an increased risk for COVID-19?
- Do you take precautions to protect yourself from infection?
While going to the movie theater may be a ways off, other activities such as dining outside with friends and small social gatherings may be OK. We are social creatures, after all. Below we suggest some activities that might be lower-risk and allow you to enjoy your social time safely.
After months without your favorite meal from your favorite local pub or restaurant, you might be itching to sit down with friends and enjoy yourself. First, make sure you check the restaurant’s website to understand their COVID-19 safety guidelines. You’ll want to take some measures into your own hands.
- First and foremost, ensure you’re wearing a face mask
- Ask the host if there is outdoor dining with tables spaced 6 feet apart to ease your worries
- Restrict your use of self-serve items like buffets, soda machines, or salsa bars to limit exposure to highly touched surfaces
- Ensure you have proper gel hand sanitizer so you are ready to sanitize at every turn
Invited over for burgers, dogs, and cornhole in a friend’s backyard? While seeing your friends in small groups in outdoor areas has been deemed a lower-risk activity, make sure to have the proper supplies on hand to help you keep healthy, including face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
During a gathering:
- Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from people who do not live in your immediate household
- Arrive early or late to avoid crowded, peak times with many people present
- Wear face masks to avoid the spread of infection
- Avoid self-serve food or drink options such as salad bars, buffets, and drink stations; it may be helpful to use disposable utensils and dishes while hanging out with friends
- Avoid touching common surfaces like railings, door handles and toilets without sanitizing
Visiting a Beach or Pool
Soaking up the sun on the beach with friends is the ultimate social activity. But is it still safe? Like any other location, you’ll want to keep your distance and avoid crowded areas. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So take actions to reduce your proximity to others and your risk of infection.
Check to see if the public swim area has COVID-19 guidelines in place to help prevent the spread
- Wear a face mask when you are not in the water
- Avoid crowded swim areas, beaches, pools, and hot tubs
- Avoid sharing food, sports equipment, and supplies with those who do not live with you
- While these precautions may be a hassle, it makes going to a public beach or swim area with friends as safe as possible.
Feeling Empowered and Safe
We get it, venturing out with friends can be nerve-wracking right now. But understanding the risk level involved can help you take proper precautions and feel safe without sacrificing fun. It’s OK to opt into activities where you are able to keep at least 6 feet of space between you and your friends. And taking the party outdoors where the ventilation is better helps lower your risk of catching anything. Just remember, always wear a face mask.
Boomer Naturals Nano-Silver Reusable Face Masks can help put your mind at ease as you start to mingle with friends again. They are breathable and comfortable. They meet the World Health Organization’s guidelines, and the nano-silver fibers infused in the fabric is at its protective best for up to 30 washes. Arm yourself with Boomer Naturals Refreshing Gel Hand Sanitizer, which can kill 99.9% of germs and leave your hands feeling smooth, thanks to Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. It’s a safe, easy solution to clean your hands while you’re out and about.
At Boomer Naturals, we are dedicated to helping you stay healthy, whether you’re headed back to work or hanging out with your friends. Shop our protective products today!