Your guide to summer: How to enjoy activities despite the pandemic….

A family enjoying summer at the pool

Summer is finally here and most of us who have been quarantined for months are itching to get outside and enjoy summer activities. But the constant threat of contracting or spreading COVID-19 is still looming over us. Though some places are gradually reopening, the virus is not gone and there are still important safety guidelines that you should observe.

As a general rule, the more time that you spend in closed spaces with multiple people, the higher your risk for contracting COVID-19. So, before you take your self out, do consider a few things:

*How many people will be there?
*Can you keep at least 6 feet between you and the other people in your party?
*Will everyone be wearing masks?
*How long will you be around everyone?
If your answer to the four question is positive, then you’re good to go. If not, you might want to stay indoors until you’re sure.

Here’s what should guide you in activities you want to take part in during summer;
Low Risk Activities:
Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Visiting parks, trails and other open outdoor areas are great ways to stay active while still staying six feet apart. However, before going out, choose to visit less popular outdoor areas, where there is limited sharing of items. So, though playgrounds, beaches and public pools are reopening, these are still areas of greater risk. It may also be a good idea to check with the facility you are visiting to see if public restrooms are available and how often they are cleaned and disinfected.

A child wearing mask playing outdoors

Outdoor exercising is another safe way to blow off steam. Running is low risk as long as you are aware of your surroundings and keep off crowded paths. Sports like golf or tennis are some other great choices because there is no physical contact. For now, please avoid sports like soccer, football or basketball where you may come in close contact with an infected, asymptomatic individual.

Picnics and backyard meet-ups are low risk due to being outdoors and able to space out so everyone can maintain social distancing and bring their own serving ware, food and beverages. Use visual reminders, like signs or chair arrangements to help remind you to keep a safe space from others.

Looking to take a trip? Any travel can be risky, but if you must, camping is one of the less risky things you can do. Since you’re outdoors and isolated there is less risk of infection. Traveling to your personal vacation home with just your family or a selected group that has been quarantining can also be a good option if outdoor living is not your thing.

Medium Risk Activities:
Going out to eat is something that many of us enjoy and are excited to be able to do again. As businesses reopen, many restaurants are taking precautions to be able to serve with reduced risk of infection. In addition, many restaurants are switching to virtual menus and single-use condiments to prevent sharing surfaces that may spread the virus.
Before going out to eat, ensure that the restaurant is spacing out seating, requiring servers to wear masks and offering easy access to hand-washing stations. Indoor dining has a higher risk than outdoor dining, so check to see if eating outdoors is an option at your favorite spot.

High Risk Activities:

People at the beach

There are still a bunch of activities that you should probably avoid. It is still a risky choice to go to the bar or out to a dance club. Instead, try a location with outdoor seating. You can as well host a socially-distanced dance party in your backyard.
Any activity with a large crowd of people drinking can be dangerous as alcohol lowers inhibitions and people can forget about maintaining social distance. In fact, the more people that are in one space, the more likely someone is infected, so crowded places like malls should still be avoided as well. Public transportation also offers a social distancing challenge, so travel should be limited to essential only.

No matter what you choose to do, continue to practice everyday prevention. In addition, it is always important to keep a cloth face covering, tissues, and hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol on hand at all times.

What other activities would you recommend so we can enjoy this summer better. Please share with us in the comment section.

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