One of the most anticipated holidays of the year, Labor Day Weekend is upon us and it's going to be different for many of us, thanks to the coronavirus.
Depending on where you live, how you get together and where might be a bit problematic. But that's no reason to pass up the annual traditions of the Labor Day Weekend. It just means that some of us will need to be a bit more creative and flexible, all while staying safe.
Cookouts, Cupcakes, and Coronavirus
Regardless of whether this is really the "new normal" or not, the reality is that varying safety orders and restrictions are still in place for many people across the country. However, this doesn't mean that the Labor Day Weekend has to be spent hiding out in your backyard.
A few commonsense preparations and precautions can serve to ensure that a fun and safe family get-together can still happen.
Here are some tips for your Labor Day Weekend activities in 2020:
With a few holidays in midst of the pandemic already behind us, there are some "tried-and-true" considerations that have been established now.
Here's some sage advice from the NY Times, for example:
Plan the Guest List. Keep it in the family. The safest plan is to celebrate the weekend with your household unit only.
Vet your guests.If you do invite guests, make sure they have the same level of concern for the risks of infection as your household. When concerns between households don’t align, it can make the gathering much more anxiety-inducing for everyone.
Keep it small. Limit the number of different households joining you. The size of the household is not as important as the number of households. Each household is a different quarantine unit. The more households you put together, the higher the risk for infection.
Keep your distance. Maintaining appropriate physical distancing between households is still important. Brief close-range contact is less of a concern than sustained contact. Don’t jump on the kids for walking too close to grandma, but be mindful of longer conversations in close proximity.
The reality is that there is more than a virus to concern yourself with. Some behaviors are never safe any time of the year, with or without a coronvirus to contend with.
According to a post from AllOneHealth,
"The National Safety Council estimates 420 people may die on U.S. roads this Labor Day holiday period. Causes of accidents could be related to alcohol consumption, drowsiness, and an increase of cars on the roadways. During Labor Day weekend, 36% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. If alcohol consumption will be taking place, it is important to designate a sober driver."
In addition to staying safe while traveling to and from your Labor Day destination, staying safe once you get there is important, as well.
Sun, Water, Bugs and Food
This isn't meant to unnerve you as the holiday approaches, but to simply remind you that there are few other things that can put a damper on your holiday fun. Here are few tips for avoiding that from happening:
- Mind the time spent in the sun and be sure to stay hydrated. Be mindful that dizziness, extreme exhaustion, confusion, and muscle cramps are all symptoms of heat related illness and should be addressed immediately.
- It’s important to stay aware when in the water. If possible, stay near a lifeguard when you're at the beach and know what warning flags are. Don't go into the water if it's deemed unsafe. And remember that currents and rip tides are a danger.
- Although most insects are harmless, some mosquitoes can carry viruses that cause severe illnesses. Also, pay attention to any individuals who are known to have allergic reactions to insect bites or stings and will need to be treated immediately.
- If your Labor Day weekend includes using a BBQ grill, be sure to never leave it unattended. And always keep raw meat and cooked foods separated to prevent any cross-contamination with bacteria. Oh, and get rid of the potato salad after an hour or so!
To sum it up, Labor Day Weekend is still a great time to get out, have fun, and enjoy yourselves and your family and friends. Being smart and being safe is just being aware. Check with your local authorities to be clear on any coronavirus-related restrictions in effect for the weekend.
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