The continued threat of COVID-19 and its many variants has turned gatherings into a risky venture. With many new infections being found to stem from interpersonal gatherings, there’s little wonder as to why so many of us are being extra-cautious when it comes to congregating with friends and family members. While placing limitations on gatherings during this time is generally a good idea, this doesn’t mean that shindigs are completely off the table. Anyone looking to maximize safety at their next gathering should put the following tips to good use.
Limit the Guestlist
After two years of social isolation, it’s only natural that many of us would be itching to host shindigs with massive guestlists. However, while congregating with a large number of friends and family members may bring you some degree of short-term satisfaction, the consequences of organizing a large get-together at the present time can be severe. All it takes is one infected guest to kick off an infection cluster – and hosting an event that sickens scores of attendees is the last thing you want on your conscience. So, regardless of how much you’re longing to host the event of the season, it’s best that you keep the guestlist small. After all, more people mean more opportunities for infection.
Make Sure Attendees Are Vaccinated and Boosted
Unless you’re dealing with a medical condition that prohibits vaccination, walking around unvaccinated at the present time is a huge deterrent to public health. (If you do, in fact, suffer from a medical condition that precludes you from getting vaccinated, look into disability insurance.) So, unless you’ve received your initial vaccine series and booster shot, you have no business hosting get-togethers right now. Similarly, people who have yet to get vaccinated have no business attending get-togethers and other social events.
As stated above, a single infected guest is all it takes to create an infection cluster. And even if this person has a mild or asymptomatic case of COVID-19, the people to whom they spread the virus may not be as lucky. So, for the safety of your guests, you and every member of your household who’s old enough to be vaccinated should be fully vaxxed, and the same expectation should be applied to everyone in attendance.
Purchase Party Supplies Remotely
Venturing out into crowded public areas carries a high level of risk at the present time. With many people no longer practicing common sense precautions despite the prevalence of new infections, in-person shopping can be a risky venture. So, when procuring supplies for your get-together, simply do so online. For example, if you’re looking to purchase gender reveal color packets, you should have no trouble finding them on the web. Additionally, if you don’t want to wait for certain items to be delivered, take advantage of the contactless pickup options being offered by many stores.
Have Guests Take Rapid Response Tests
Considering how infectious COVID-19 and its many variants are, one can never be too careful when it comes to avoiding them. With this in mind, request that each of your guests take a rapid response COVID test before coming to your event. While these tests aren’t always 100% accurate, it’s still important to take them in advance of any group activity.
Realize That This Event is Not Set in Stone
No one relishes canceling highly-anticipated get-togethers – especially if they haven’t seen certain friends or family members in a very long time. However, given the threat we’re currently facing, it’s important to understand and accept that new developments may facilitate the need to alter personal plans. For example, if numerous people with whom you regularly interact suddenly come down with COVID-19, you’ve likely been exposed. Even if you’ve yet to exhibit any symptoms and have tested negative for COVID, postponing your get-together or canceling it altogether is the socially responsible thing to do.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that now is hardly the safest time for gatherings. An airborne virus that’s as relentlessly infectious as COVID-19 is likely to place a cloud of danger over any group activity at the present time. So, while some people have successfully hosted infection-free gatherings, organizing a get-together during an active pandemic places both you and those in attendance at risk. Still, if you insist on having a gathering right now, you can help minimize risks by utilizing the previously discussed pointers.
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