Monday, July 27, 2020

Summer Doesn’t Have To Be A Bummer During COVID-19

Where has the time gone?!  It’s hard to believe that the summer season is now upon us and that we are still living under a continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

While we continue to slowly and steadily reopen parks and businesses, those activities that traditionally represent summer to us - summer vacations, outdoor concerts, fireworks, and kids going off to summer camp – look much different this summer. While we continue to practise social distancing, and while it may take a bit of extra planning, we are all itching to get out of the house, and with a little creativity, we can find ways to safely enjoy the pleasures of the season and warm-weather activities.  Need some ideas?  Here are a few to get you started.

Driveway Dining

Whether you and your neighbours are long-time friends or new acquaintances, you don’t have to go far to enjoy some socially distanced quality time, along with some good eats and drinks! Driveway dining is all the rage – simply set up a dining area at the end of each driveway and cheers from a distance. Add some music to get the party started, and for an extra special treat, consider arranging to purchase the same bottle of wine or beer and have a taste testing party together (yet apart). 

Photo Credit: Enzo Zanatta, CBC

Live in a townhome or condo complex? 

Set up household tables in the parking lot (safely distanced of course), giving each household their own coloured tablecloth. The safest option is for everyone to supply their own food and drinks. You may consider supporting a local restaurant or catering company to give each person their own individually-packed meal. 

While using disposable plates and utensils doesn’t exactly support being green, they may be your best option during the days of COVID-19. This will mean ensuring that there are a number of garbage bins available. If everyone looks after throwing away their own items,clean up will be a breeze.   

Nurture Your Soul

This summer may be the perfect time to master something new.  How does a new dance step sound or perhaps stretching out a few muscles you haven’t used in a while?  Set up an outdoor dance party with some high energy songs and dance, dance, dance (socially distanced guests are optional). If it’s some downtime that you crave, lay out an exercise mat, stream a yoga class and get your Zen on!  

Looking for a kid-friendly activity?

Set up a sidewalk chalk party with your kids and their friends with socially distanced spaces marked out for each child. Cap off the night with an outdoor movie.

Create an extra special date night using nature as your host.

Set up a sunset dinner and enjoy the colours as the sun descends for the night. Once set, enjoy a stargazing evening with your favourite wine.
Whether you plan a block party barbeque or a simple gathering of a few family members from your “social circle”, make sure you have a clear plan for keeping hands clean and bathroom access safe and easy. Setting out a hand cleaning area with sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, spray bottles, soap and paper towels will be appreciated by your guests.  So too, will be easy access to a bathroom.  A sign pointing the way and a notice in the bathroom asking visitors to use the accessible paper towels to flush the toilet, turn the faucet on and off and dry their hands will remind them that their safety is important to you. 

Whatever your plans, we hope you take some time to enjoy the summer, remembering that everyone must continue to do their part to keep each other safe and well.  Continue to keep your distance, wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer and if you are not feeling well, stay home.  Most importantly though, it’s summertime – enjoy.  And don’t forget the sunscreen!