Remember going out to eat in restaurants, hugging your friends, and working at the office?
Those normal routines seem like a far off memory for most people. Though there's no official countdown until the world re-opens, many areas have started to relax some of their stay-at-home restrictions and people have started to socialize again.
But the world that we're going back into doesn't look like the one we left. Social distance stickers on grocery store floors, one-way aisles, a limit on building occupancy, and face masks are the new requirements.
It can be confusing trying to figure out what's acceptable and what isn't when socializing after shelter-at-home lifts. So that's why I put together some tips to help you socialize safely.
Tips on how to socialize safely
I know it’s tempting to run right out the door and re-start your normal routine, but there’s still a long way to go before it’s completely safe to do so.
That’s why I’ve put together some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe as things start to open up again.
- Use protective equipment
- Find out where you can socialize
- Respect contact preferences
- Be extra cautious around the elderly and immunocompromised
Let’s get started!
1. Use protective equipment
By now, everyone should know what's up with face masks. They've even become a a trending fashion accessory. Face masks are one of the best ways to keep yourself and others around you safe. Wearing a face mask is an effective way to slow the spread of germs, along with hand-washing and social distancing.
The TouchTool is another handy piece of equipment that prevents you from touching commonly used surfaces out in public. Pull doors, press buttons, and carry items without getting germs on your hands.
2. Where you can socialize
Many areas are in different stages of re-opening. Some places are still shut down, while in other areas, restaurants have opened up outdoor seating and socializing with groups is acceptable in outdoor spaces and with trusted households.
Check with your local government to see updates on the latest guidelines on socializing and what’s considered to be safe.
3. Respect contact preferences
After shelter-at-home lifts, many of us will want to visit with family and friends right away. It’s important to take into consideration and be proactive when it comes to the contact comfort and preferences of family and friends. For example, do they prefer to meet outside instead of in their home?
With this in mind, it’s crucial to socialize with caution, wash your hands often, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid as much physical contact as possible.
4. Be extra cautious around the elderly and immunocompromised
Seniors and immunocompromised people are those most at-risk for contracting COVID-19.
Continue to virtually socialize with elderly family and friends because they’re at risk for being socially isolated. A test conducted at the beginning of 2020 shows that nearly a quarter of Americans age 65 and older are socially isolated. This has only increased since COVID-19 safety measures have been put into place.
Check-in on your older family and friends; a phone call can go a long way and can have a positive impact on their day.
Be social and be safe with the right protective equipment
By following these safety precautions, you’re doing your part in containing and slowing down the spread of COVID-19. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest local guidelines; some areas may have different regulations than others and wear being the right protective equipment when leaving your home.