Summer Fun… Despite COVID-19
While it’s likely that many COVID-19-related restrictions will be peeled away in the coming months, there’s no denying that the global pandemic already has cast a shadow over summer. Many organizations have already shelved summer events and activities, parks and attractions have posted restrictions, and some vacation areas announced plans to remain shuttered.
For many of us, this raises a dilemma: Even if restrictions are lifted, how comfortable do I feel with my typical summer activities … going to the farmer’s market, attending outdoor concerts, sending my kids to camp and more?
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine expressed the worry many of us feel as he wrestled with what to do in his state as warmer months approached. “Part of this is a balance,” DeWine said. “How do you reduce the risk of infection, but at the same time have a good time, let kids get out?”
Experts say it can be done. Here are some examples of their guidance:
Play it safe. When you go out, continue to embrace precautions we’ve recently come to expect: Avoid large, compact crowds. Maintain a safe distance. Wear a mask. Wash your hands frequently.
Be prepared. If you are going to summer concerts, sports events, and other activities, take along hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Bring your own drinking water, and your own eating utensils. Wipe down supplied chairs and other surfaces.
Go to market, with care. When attending farmer’s markets, maintain your distance from others. Only touch items you intend to buy. Pay electronically, if possible, or carry small bills to reduce the need to hand money back and forth. Don’t eat samples. Wash your hands and your purchases thoroughly when you get home.
Check out the camp. If your child is attending a summer camp of some sort, contact the camp to find out what precautions they are taking. How is the staff being trained to address virus concerns? What will the protocol be if a camper gets sick? If you’re not comfortable with the answers, you probably won’t be comfortable sending your kid to that camp.
The biggest tip seems to be to remain cautious and flexible. Our understanding of COVID-19 and its threat changes almost daily, and that’s likely to be the case for months to come. But as the virus wanes and life heads back toward normal, you should be able to enjoy your summer. Just be careful … and wash your hands.