November 10, 2020- if you like a lot of Americans you probably found some safe ways to socialize with a small group of friends or family this past summer. But with cold weather and the holidays arriving soon many folks are grappling with how to keep that going and avoid social isolation. We are curious to find out what techniques and strategies you might be using to make that happen.
Back in September we surveyed what Coronavirus Activities you are willing to engage in. Over 500 completed it; here is a Summary of the responses. One of the questions (#9) directly asked about cold weather, specifically if you would be willing to visit or entertain when it comes. Just over half said they would visit with other folks in some way or another, but with some conditions. The issue becomes even more important as Thanksgiving and the holidays loom in the immediate future.
There were over 80 written Comments to the question. The vast majority of those seemed to indicate they probably would entertain/be entertained, but only if masks and social distancing were observed, and if they trusted the other people.
How are you going to do it?
But, if you are going to go ahead and get together with other people this winter, and you don’t live in a warm winter climate, how are you going to do it?
This past weekend the New York Times had a number of great suggestions on cold weather entertaining in “Warming Up Our Backyards”. People are buying fire pits, heated cushions, propane heaters, and free-standing fireplaces like crazy. Add to that pizza ovens, TVs, radiant heaters – and blankets. Plastic igloos and windscreens are being constructed, and not just in outdoor restaurants. Clothing is coming to the rescue, bearing truth to the slogan there is no such as thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Menus are being adjusted, with hearty stews and warm drinks moving to the fore. Lastly, since people feel a lot warmer if they are moving around, think about scheduling some type of activity, like bocce or a walk, so people aren’t just sitting still.
Other experts are beginning to provide suggestions about how to have a small, and safe, holiday or Thanksgiving party. Some of those include keeping it to a very small number of guests, having everyone be tested beforehand, isolating a week to two weeks before, and not inviting guests who are at the greatest risk (maybe Zoom for them!).
Bottom line – Stay safe! If you don’t feel comfortable seeing anyone, don’t! If you do get together, take all precautions to avoid catching and spreading this highly contagious disease. If you have any doubt about how easy it is to catch, take a look at the rapidly increasing cases, now averaging over 1,000 daily in the U.S., along with a significant number of White House staff including the President.
Your suggestions please! Social isolation is a serious problem, so we could all use some ideas on how to avoid it with your cold weather entertaining. While you are at it, what your plans for Thanksgiving and the holidays? How are you going to stay safe, and potentially celebrate with your loved ones too? Please share your ideas and experiences in the Comments section below.