With the weather warming up and the sun making its appearance for the season, it’s hard to fight the urge to get outside and enjoy our normal summer activities. In the middle of a pandemic, it’s hard to know what endeavors are safest, and how we can take those first steps. We’ve compiled a list of 5 low-risk summer activities that will help keep you in good spirits, and carefully begin the journey towards a fun summer season.
Before venturing out, please be sure to check your state’s COVID-19 Guidelines to ensure you’re following protocol and staying safe!
1. BYO Outdoor Get-Together
We’re all missing our friends and family during this time, and as the days get longer and warmer, there’s one thing everyone is itching for— barbecues! If done properly, these can be great low-risk summer activities. (The Nicklaus Marketing team has one every week!) But there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure that this remains a low-risk activity:
- Make sure it’s outdoors. A confined, indoor space is one of the top risk factors for the spread of COVID-19. Make sure you pick a nice day and have ample room for people to comfortably spread out across a backyard or public park.
- Keep the group small. Other households that have also practiced social distancing and working from home are key to making sure this gathering can remain safe. But even if people of a small group haven’t been staying home and keeping their distance, this effort can be futile.
- Make it BYO Everything. At any sort of gathering it’s common that things like food, cutlery, plates, cups, etc. get passed around and handled by just about everyone. Each household that has been self-isolating should bring all of their own supplies. This will reduce any need for handling other’s supplies and significantly decrease any risk.
- Keep alcohol to a minimum. After a few drinks, it can be easy to forget about what’s going on in the world around us. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing like a cold beer at a barbecue. But it’s important to not forget the basic social distancing guidelines. You can still have a great time at 6 feet apart!
- Wear masks when possible. Of course, it’s not practical to wear face coverings while eating and drinking, but every little bit helps! Maybe set up a fun relay race before or after eating! It will keep the kids occupied and they can still wear their masks in the event they get too close.
- Guests using the bathroom is okay! As long as huge groups aren’t entering the house, simply leave a bottle of wipes and ask people to just wipe down the handles and doorknob when they’re done. A good deep clean after your get together will be more than sufficient.
2. A Day At the Beach or Pool
You really know summer has hit when it’s warm enough to go swimming! Beaches and pools can be a good social distancing option if proper protocols are followed. According to Dr. Andrew Janowski, Instructor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, “The sheer volume of water will dilute out the virus, making the water a highly unlikely source of infection.” Follow these simple steps to make sure you and your household can enjoy some low-risk fun in the sun!
- Remain 6 feet apart. Just make sure to set up shop away from other families. Things like sitting further back from the shoreline can help prevent any awkward encounters with other families who may not be following social distancing rules as strictly. At a pool, skip a few chairs from the people that are already there.
- Avoid sharing toys. Things like floats, pool noodles, and goggles can be easy breeding grounds for bacteria in general. Ensuring that equipment stays to the people in your household is key. Kids like to make friends, so while usually “sharing is caring,” make sure they’re caring without the sharing for the time being.
- Keep an eye out for crowds near bathrooms and food stands. These are places that can already be an issue for spreading germs, so try to time out when you go! If it gets too crowded, bring your mask with you in case!
3. Vacationing with Another Family
Planning a week at a vacation house with another household is a great low-risk summer activity. But again, the biggest factor at play is making sure these other families and households have also practiced social distancing. Even if just one person from a household has a high-exposure job, that risk increases very quickly. Here are some guidelines to ensure a safe getaway:
- Get a place that is secluded. Trips to a cabin in the woods or quieter beach towns will lend themselves to less contact with any other vacationers. Even if someone needs to take a quick trip to the grocery store, you’re less likely to run into people.
- Clean the house on arrival. It’s always possible that another group had the same idea and stayed the week prior. Bring some disinfecting wipes and wipe down all major surfaces, remotes, doorknobs, etc. Another easy fix is to bring your own sheets! You’ll feel much more at ease knowing that your bedding is cleaned to your standards.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page. Being as these groups will be in an enclosed space for a period of time, making sure each group is following the same set of precautions, such as using your knuckles for elevator buttons if you’re in a hotel.
- Limit the use of common amenities. Hotel lobbies, pools, and gyms can be tempting, but if you’re there, chances are so are other people.
Camping is easily one of the lowest-risk summer activities. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve another household, and you’re surrounded by nothing but open air! But as always, if you decide to go with another household, make sure they’re trustworthy and have been following the same set of standards prior to your trip! While it’s on the lower end of the risk scale, there are still things to consider when planning. Check RV Share’s Blog with updates about state parks and their restrictions during the Coronavirus!
- Avoid crowded camp grounds. If you can find an isolated area to visit, there’s significantly less risk of running into another group.
- Use caution in restrooms and picnic areas. Not everyone cleans up as well as they should. In the event you’re near a campground with these shared amenities, take precaution.
- If you are with a group, keep each household to their own tents. Being in extremely enclosed areas such as tents with someone from another household can be a sure-fire way to transmit something.
5. Outdoor Activities
Don’t be afraid to get back to the basics! Summer activities can be done right in the comfort of your own neighborhood. A bike ride through the park, a walk with the family dog, or meet friends at a local scenic overlook are all good choices.
- As with anything, avoid crowds. On a nice day, there’s bound to be other groups trying to enjoy the fresh air. Keep your distance and avoid the use of public bathrooms/picnic areas if possible.
- Keep activities non-contact. Sports like golf, tennis, wallball are all things that can be played with others at a distance! Just make sure you’re using your own equipment! Even bike riding, skateboarding and rollerblading can be adjusted to keep everyone at a safe distance.
- Get creative at home. With so many stores offering curbside pickup, there are lots of summer options. Slip and slides for the kids, water balloons, and inflatable pools (yes, they make adult-sized pools) can turn any boring summer night into your own safe and fun space!
At the end of the day, staying safe doesn’t mean all summer activities have to be canceled. It’s everyone’s duty to make sure we’re being responsible, and enjoying our time without putting others at risk. If you think your friends or family may not be following the COVID-19 guidelines strictly enough, decline the invite to get together or suggest a safer option.
Looking for more low-risk inspiration? Check out some of our other blogs: