Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend during a pandemic doesn’t seem ideal. It feels downright scary. On the one hand, you’re ready to leave the confines of your home, but on the other, you want to protect yourself, your family, and those around you against spreading COVID-19. So is there a way to have some fun while being safe? Yes!
The act of being safe is quite simple. The most important thing is to stay 6 feet from others, wear a mask at all times while you’re out and about, and always (always) make sure you wash your hands repeatedly. Now that businesses and public spaces are reopening, how do you adhere to those rules while in these locations?
We’ve gathered information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to inform you about how to stay safe and healthy.
We should first note that if you feel sick in any way, do not leave your home.
Beaches & Pools
Every state has different rules, so before you head out, it’s essential to research what the rules are at your beach of choice.
While most research about how COVID-19 spreads, which is typically from person to person and on surfaces, according to the Surfrider Foundation, the virus can remain alive in the water.
Their report “shows the virus can remain alive and, therefore, infectious in freshwater. That means that, in theory, you could get infected by swimming in a lake or river. Practically though, the virus would likely be very diluted. No research has yet been done on the viability of SARS-CoV-2 in saltwater. However, it’s unlikely to be that different from freshwater.”
So if someone is sick and goes into the water, and you’re near that person, you could get sick. That is why you should follow the 6 ft apart rule. Also, wearing masks on the beach is not necessary, only when you’re close to other people.
The CDC recommends visiting parks that are close to your home but prepare before you visit. Stay at least 6 feet away from others (“social distancing”) and take other steps to prevent COVID-19. Play it safe around and in swimming pools. Keep space between yourself and others. Do not visit parks if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19. Do not visit parks that are crowded. DO not use playgrounds and do not participate in organized activities or sports.
If you’re going to have people over, make sure it’s a small group. The CDC suggests people should limit gatherings to no more than ten people. If you’re outside, practice social distancing. If you’re indoors, wear a mask. And most importantly, “clean and disinfect bathrooms regularly, particularly high-touch surfaces, and ensure they have handwashing supplies.”
It’s not suggested to have people over your house, mostly because this area is your one space that is your protection from the virus. If someone comes into your home, make sure they have a mask. You should have one as well. And repeatedly clean surfaces as well as your hands.
Now that states are loosening their restrictions, more businesses are opening up, including retail stores. Most clothing stores are limiting the number of people inside the stores. It’s also recommended not to try on clothes and put them back.
Restaurant & Bars
Yes, some restaurants and bars are open. Some restaurants are not only limiting the number of people inside but also putting plenty of space between tables. Some establishments are also placed plexiglass between customers to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here’s a guideline by the CDC about low and high risk restaurants and bars.
- Lowest Risk: Food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up.
- More Risk: Drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up emphasized. On-site dining limited to outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
- Even More Risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
- Highest Risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart.
Whatever you do this weekend (and always), be considerate of others.