Millions of Americans are gearing up for an exciting summer now that the worst of Covid is moving behind us. Our Calendar alerts us that time is marching on, and we need to schedule something interesting for ourselves, friends or family. However, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry when the pandemic is not officially over. If there’s any chance at all that Covid makes a comeback, we don’t want to let it happen on our watch.
You can still enjoy plenty of summer activities while still reducing your risk of contracting and spreading Covid. In fact, you should do what you can to have an enjoyable summer since 2020 was full of enough turmoil for a lifetime. Here’s how you can make time for fun while keeping yourself and everyone around you safe:
Look at Getting Vaccinated
Perhaps the single biggest reason Covid is under control in 2021 is the release of vaccinations for the virus. A handful of companies are offering vaccinations, and they are now available to almost everyone interested.
Local Resources for Vaccines
Look for local resources that provide information on where vaccines are available and how to get one. A simple Google search will show you which local pharmacies and hospitals administer the vaccine in your area. Covid vaccines were paid for with taxpayer dollars, so you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket at the time of vaccination.
The CDC has now stated that anyone above the age of 12 is eligible to receive a vaccination. Previously, only the most at-risk individuals could receive the vaccine, but now enough time has passed that doses are available to most of the general public.
Stay Away from Heavily Crowded Areas
Even after getting vaccinated, consider staying away from heavily crowded areas. Even before Covid-19, you’re more likely to contract a virus or a disease when trying to navigate through crowds of people. Airports, hotels, and resorts are all trying their best to keep areas sanitized, but nothing is guaranteed just yet. And, seriously — wash your hands.
If you plan on taking a summer trip this year, consider vacationing somewhere less crowded than you would’ve in past years. You can have just as much fun hiking a secluded national park as you can sharing the beach with dozens of strangers or attending stuffy concerts. Of course, those trips can be postponed for another year or two. Or if you choose a crowded spot — you can help those who are with you be aware, as you are, about social distancing. Set a reminder on your Calendar.
Adopt Cleanliness Habits
It’s safe to assume that you do a good job of keeping yourself clean and healthy. However, in an effort to put Covid in the rearview mirror for good, it doesn’t hurt to take your cleanliness habits to the next level, or even back to the level you attained when Covid was still new and relatively unknown.
Case of the Itchy Nose
Until we wore the masks — I didn’t notice how often I itch my nose. There is never a time when my nose is NOT itching! But I’ve lived with this my whole life, so I quit noticing or being irritated by it. The allergist said it’s dust and a ton of other things and suggested I cut my nose off for a solution. I chose to keep it. Nonetheless — I’m grateful my parents pushed hand washing. But I see tons of people skip this necessary life skill.
Continue to use your online Calendar, develop cleaning routines for your home and vehicles. Regular cleanings will keep all viruses and germs at bay, not just Covid. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing that you’re doing your part to keep your family safe from Covid.
There’s also some merit to taking time to do the little things that you often skip over. For example, your online Calendar can give you monthly reminders to clean stovetops, microwaves, counters, and other touchpoints that might get overlooked during your usual cleaning routines.
Make Time for the Outdoors
Since the early days of Covid, spending time outdoors was recognized as a safer way to spend the summer. The open-air makes it more difficult to spread the virus thanks to wider spaces and better air circulation. Before the vaccine was available, masks kept outdoor transitions to a minimum.
Check the Park Before Going
Summer is the best season of the year to spend all your time outside. Add in the extra protection from Covid, and that’s all the more reason you should make time for the outdoors this year. Check with parks if you are headed there. I read that some National Parks were just flooded in the last week or so.
When vacationing, put a reminder on your Calendar to check the local (to the park) news to make sure about crowds and weather information.
Learn to Pivot Your Play
Just as in business, learn to pivot your vacation spot without having a coronary or meltdown — and teach your kids this same principle. Covid taught us at least a couple of things — we can do this — and we can handle the hard stuff. We can change decisions quickly when we want to and still have fun.
Activities and Games
There are plenty of ways to fill up your online Calendar with outdoor activities. Plan a weekend hike, a trip to the lake, or even backyard games to play with the family. Intentionally planning outdoor activities ensures that even the biggest homebodies make it outside regularly and get some needed Vitamin D as well.
Stay Up to Date
While Covid might not be gracing every headline in 2021, there’s still plenty of news you can keep track of to stay on top of any updates. For example, a quick search for Covid news would show you that in June, the state of Utah had a big spike in Covid hospitalizations. You might not have even been aware of such an occurrence if you hadn’t done your research.
Don’t get Hysterical — Just be Aware
These reports and many others will keep you up to date with all things Covid related in the country and your area. Don’t get too sucked in, or you might fall into despair, but keeping tabs on how Covid is progressing will help you stay on top of safety measures and steer clear of areas with recent exposure to the virus.
Go With the Tried and True
Back at the peak of Covid-19, two initiatives really helped stop the spread of the virus. These were wearing a mask and social distancing. We’ve gotten more relaxed with those two guidelines in recent months, but it’s better to be safe than sorry if you really feel like Covid can become a problem again.
Seriously, a small sacrifice such as wearing a mask is a small price to pay if it means you can participate in all of your favorite activities this summer worry-free. Nothing can be worse than going through a second lockdown, which is something we hope to avoid at all costs.
A summer without Covid is a welcome one. Make sure illness doesn’t get in the way of your summer and your fun in the sun will go as planned.
Image Credit: lachian ross; pexels; thank you!