Socializing has taken on a new form since the pandemic came upon us. During pre-COVID times, we’d often get together in bars, restaurants, and other public places to meet new people, touch base with friends we haven’t seen in quite a while, or just hang out.
When COVID-19 spread across the world over a year and a half ago, the way we socialize was changed in an instant. Even those who are introverts started to long for the company of other people. We can just imagine how hard it must be for extroverts and the more sociable people.
We were confined inside our homes and had to settle for virtual interactions with our loved ones.
Now that the economy has reopened and governments worldwide are rolling out massive and aggressive vaccination programs, COVID-induced restrictions have been eased, and we are now allowed to, once again, enjoy the company of family and friends. Our need for socializing during the pandemic has somehow been met. Of course, we still need to observe proper COVID protocols to keep our loved ones safe but at least this is better than nothing.
Along with the eased restrictions, a lot of people have started getting together and hosting parties in private places where they are more in control. If you’re considering hosting a party at your place, here are a few things to remember:
1. Prioritize health above all
This has to be at the top of your priority list if you want to have guests come over for dinner or a backyard barbecue. One should never underestimate the dangers of getting infected with COVID-19 at this time. Make sure you communicate this with your guests and politely yet firmly enforce safety rules during your party.
2. Keep it small and intimate
We understand that you’re excited to see a lot of people but it is also highly recommended to limit the number of attendees to your bash. Go over your invitation list and filter it to as small a number as you can. This minimizes the risk of virus transmission in your party and you can all enjoy each other’s company without having to worry about your health and safety.
3. Dress the place up
No party is complete without party decors, right? Find time to set the place up before your scheduled date. If you need to do a few home upgrades to make your place safer, like a window replacement to allow better ventilation and air circulation, plan it. Clean the party venue up and decorate it according to your theme (if you have one).
4. Provide a virtual option for those who cannot make it
We know you want to invite as many people on site as possible but at this time, it’s too high-risk to do so. You can still have your other friends join you virtually as you entertain guests at home. Set up a webinar or video conferencing app and send out the link to those unable to be there in person. This way, you can have the best of both worlds.
5. Strategically place hand sanitizers around your home or venue
One of the benefits of being the host and not just an attendee is you have greater control over how you can implement safety measures in your home. One way to help reduce the risk of infection is by setting up hand sanitizing stations in different parts of your home where the guests are allowed. This way, even if some of your guests forget to bring their hand sanitizers, you’ve got their backs.
We understand how masks can be quite uncomfortable, especially when worn for extended periods. However, it is a necessity at this point. As the host, you should prepare some masks for your guests just in case some of them didn’t bring theirs. Communicate with them beforehand and tell them that everyone’s safety is your priority. If they don’t like to wear masks, perhaps you can just ask them to party with you guys online.
7. Assign a specific bathroom or powder room solely for guests
Keep guests away from other parts of your home, especially your personal bathrooms. If you’re having a party and you have an extra bathroom or powder room for your guests, direct them all toward it and away from the ones you and your family are using.
8. Go alfresco if possible
While an indoor party might seem cozy and nice, holding it outdoors in your backyard or garden also has great benefits. One, you have better air circulation which means the airborne virus doesn’t just linger compared to being indoors. Two, you have more space to move around. Three, you minimize the mess inside your house. And four, everybody is tired from staying indoors. So yes, go alfresco and enjoy the weather outside.
Remember, just because COVID restrictions have been eased and more and more people are getting vaccinated by the day is no reason to be reckless. If you’re hosting a party or entertaining guests at home, do it responsibly with everyone’s safety as your primary concern. Stay safe!