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National Picnic Month and how to enjoy it amid COVID-19

Young friends having barbecue picnic in the nature, playing guitar, playing badminton, enjoying sunny July month outdoors

Did you know July is National Picnic Month? It was a pleasant surprise for us too! 

Summer picnics are a fantastic way to spend time with the family, enjoying beautiful parks and weather – but as we all know this year is different. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very a much threat to much of the country, but don’t you worry, we’ve put together our top 5 helpful tips for staying safe while still making the most of your local recreational spaces. So before you pack that hamper, take a few minutes to learn how you can stay safe and be prepared.

1. Keep it outside

This might seem an odd piece of advice for a picnic, but you can never guarantee the weather, so if your picnic gets rained off you may be tempted to take the family indoors.

Bars, restaurants, cafes, and halls make it extremely difficult to socially distance and even in the case where special arrangements have been made by the establishment, close interaction with staff or other patrons is almost unavoidable. Couple this with recirculated air, or worse no ventilation at all, it is a prime area for spreading diseases through contact or inhalation.

Dr. Stephen Berger advises opting for a table outside when dining out, or a spot that is “large, open, and ventilated.”

2. Respect your personal space

It’s hard to imagine spending time with friends and family without sharing a hug, throwing a ball around, or shaking hands. Just think about the number of times you’d normally be in close or direct contact with family friends – sharing food, passing out plates or napkins, handing out drinks; you simply can’t take that risk in the present climate. Respect your own social space and that of others and avoid direct contact with anyone outside your household, even if you know and trust them. Symptoms can take weeks to manifest if they do at all, so remain cautious while out and about or hosting visitors. And remind your kids to not run off too far and to be careful with what they touch.

3. Location, Location, Location!

With certain areas, cities being more greatly affected than others at the moment, check the situation in your area and use your best judgment. Those most at risk, the elderly, and suffers from chronic diseases, the safest option is remaining at home and making the most of any personal gardens.

This may seem cruel when you may not have had the opportunity to see family and friends for a long while and open, clean air and spaces seem the perfect place to reconnect, but please seriously consider your own situation and that of your surrounding areas – the price could prove severe.

4. Don’t forget your face mask

Even though picnics are mostly about food and drink, please take your face mask with you. It can be awkward when eating and drinking, but nonetheless protects you significantly when walking through crowded areas – of course, keep your distance as much as possible as well.

One way to make wearing a mask more fun is to decorate your mask for the occasion, and could be a great way to encourage the kids to keep the masks on! Avoid using paints or anything that will drastically affect the absorbency of your mask – felt tips or chalks should be perfect – or pin on decorations!

5. Keep it clean

The safest way to approach anything you didn’t bring with you is to consider it is dirty or even contaminated, and either wipe it clean before you use it or immediately wash your hands after using it. This may seem extreme, but you cannot see any traces of a virus left behind from someone else and anyone could have a virus without showing symptoms, so it is better to be safe than sorry. You have the benefit of controlling what you bring on a picnic, so make sure you have enough of what you need, so you can dine and play worry-free. Be prepared for longer queues as well, especially toilets.

Hopefully, the weather holds in your area and you do get to head outside for some well-earned relaxation, snacking in your local park and we are certain that by following these tips, and your own best judgment, you will still be able to have a fun and relaxing day and we certainly hope you do!

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