With the 4th of July just around the corner, nobody would blame you for dreaming of picnics at the park, backyard barbecues, lazy afternoons at the beach, and shimmering fireworks shooting across the sky. But is any of that realistic this year, given COVID-19? What’s okay? What should be avoided? Most importantly, what can you do to stay safe and healthy this 4th of July?
With COVID-19 outbreaks spiking in many states, it’s helpful to reality-check your expectations about what your 2020 holiday weekend will look like. After all, a truly enjoyable 4th of July won’t involve contracting the novel coronavirus, will it? With the goals of health, happiness, safety, and having a little fun firmly in sight, welcome to Covered’s tips for a safe 4th of July during COVID-19.
Skip the fireworks.
Big public fireworks displays = big crowds. Small backyard fireworks displays = high risk of injury. Like, seriously high. So avoid the exposure and the potential ER trip, and skip the fireworks this year. Skip the sparklers, too, as they’re actually a leading cause of fireworks-related injuries. We know it’s a bummer. But it’s just not worth it.
Stick to outdoor celebrations.
COVID-19 doesn’t spread as easily outside (yay!), and everyone has more space to spread out (yay!). Whomever you’re gathering with, work together to agree in advance on expectations about masks, distancing, indoor bathroom usage, etc.
Skip the big gatherings.
Keep things small. Remember, it’s all about limiting exposure. So instead of the big blowout picnic extravaganzas of past years, limit events to a reasonable number of people. And yes, this also means it’s best to skip that packed beach or park.
Everyone brings their own coolers packed with food and drink, as well as their own bottles of sunscreen and hand sanitizer. Sharing is temporarily uncool, cool? That said, if you’re determined to host and provide everything yourself, check out these tips.
No potlucks or communal food.
Sorry, but it’s simply too risky to have everyone touching that spoon or sticking their hands into that bowl. Who knew those big cauldrons of chips, salsa, and guac would ever be summarily unwelcome at your 4th of July gathering?
Don’t invite the naysayers.
Got a friend or family member who doesn’t seem super-invested in promoting the common good? Maybe that person doesn’t get an invite this year. This isn’t a time to make exceptions for people who make decisions that put others’ health at risk.
Remind people to stay home if they’re not feeling well. Sure, nobody really wants to be home alone and sick on the 4th of July. But a little kindly applied social pressure may remind them why this year isn’t the time to tough it out and go out anyway. Keep up the social distancing. Don’t let down your guard, even once you have that frosty beer in hand. Social distancing is still the most powerful tool we can use to stop the spread. Don’t forget your BFF hand sanitizer. And wash those hands really, really well when you get home.
Think homeowners insurance will cover damages from any fires caused by fireworks? It depends. If the type of firework that caused the damage isn’t legal where you live, coverage may be excluded.