How to Socialize Safely During COVID-19

In an epidemiologically ideal world, we’d only be socializing with those in our own household. This is truly the safest option, by far. Thankfully, with current technology, we can connect with friends and family through video chat, phone calls, text messages, and more. We encourage individuals to continue utilizing these virtual options whenever possible.

With that said, we know that life goes on even in a pandemic, and it may be beneficial or necessary to visit friends. If you decide to do so, know that there is always some level of risk involved. However, you can greatly minimize that risk by taking the following into consideration.

People

Choose who you’re going to spend time with carefully. If individuals are sick, have been potentially exposed to COVID-19, or are in a high-risk group, it is especially risky to gather with them in person. 

Consider the number of people, too. This is a classic case of “less is more.” Having less people is safer for you, your friends, your housemates, your coworkers, and anyone else in your potential circle of exposure. Try to limit your interactions to as few people as possible. Also, note that gatherings can absolutely not be over 100 people, per Phase 2.5 guidance.

Proximity

Yes, you’ve heard it a million times, we know – but social distancing is still majorly important. Keep at least six feet between you and your friend. Make sure you’re wearing a mask at all times indoors, and only take your mask off outdoors if you can guarantee that six feet of social distance can be maintained.

Place

Choose outdoor options whenever possible. When this isn’t an option, make sure that there is space to spread out. Consider if other people will be present where you are going, and how likely you are to come into close contact with them. 

Also consider where the people you are spending time with are from, as well as the area you live in. Is COVID-19 spreading rapidly in either area? If so, you may want to reconsider socializing at this time. Furthermore, be sure to follow local public health guidance for where you decide to meet, as guidance may vary by city, county, or state.

Activity

The activities you engage in are also an important consideration. Will you have to remove your mask at any time (such as to eat or drink)? This adds another level of risk to the activity. Will you be touching common objects, such as passing around plates or using the same sports equipment? Again, this adds risk. If you decide to participate in these activities anyways, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands often and disinfect shared objects frequently.

People are social creatures, and we know that it’s challenging to have to limit interactions with others. However, the actions we take today directly affect where we will be in the future. We all want this pandemic to come to an end as soon as possible, and every individual plays a part in making that happen.

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