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Independence Day is a time for celebration, family reunions, good food, good drink and momentarily escaping the everyday. The 4th of July has been one of the biggest national holidays since 1776 and draws millions across the country to gatherings for fairs, fireworks, and fun. The significant difference since the pandemic has begun is the lingering threat of the coronavirus, COVID, and keeping guests healthy. How can you and your family still enjoy the day and limit the risk of bringing home more than just fond memories?
Here are our top 5 tips for staying safe while you and yours celebrate Independence Day:
Avoiding enclosed spaces wherever possible is critical during the coming independence day celebrations. 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 no ventilation at all, and it becomes a prime area for spreading disease through contact or inhalation.
Only dine or drink at establishments with suitable outdoor spaces, or takeaway and enjoy at your own safe space.
It’s hard to imagine spending time with friends and family without sharing a hug, a dance, or shaking hands. Just think about the number of people you would typically brush up against during a house party or concert – don’t take that risk in the present climate. Respect your own social space and that of others and avoid direct contact with anyone outside of your household, even if you know and trust them (symptoms can take weeks to show). Keep in mind that you can still catch COVID in crowds outside.
With certain areas being more greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than others, check the situation in your area, and use your best judgment. For those most at risk, the elderly and sufferers from chronic diseases, the safest option is remaining at home and celebrating privately. This might sound like harsh advice, especially as Independence Day seems like the perfect moment to reconnect with family and friends, but please take it into consideration – the price could prove severe.
If you do decide to venture out to celebrate then 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 well. There is also a lot of information out there in the news and across the web about wearing a face mask for COVID, face shields for COVID, and even gloves for COVID.
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!
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. Disinfecting is critical to prevent the spread of disease. This may seem extreme, but you cannot see any traces of a virus left behind from someone else so it is better to be safe than sorry. If you plan to eat and drink while attending an event bring your own cups, wipes, and even cutlery so you can dine worry-free. Be prepared for longer queues than normal, especially toilets.
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