We are over one year into the pandemic, have had several vaccines approved and many people in the world fully vaccinated. In Jamaica, things seem to be opening up more and more and persons want to go outside and spend time with family and friends.
While there is no such thing as a “covid safe” outing, you can reduce your risk when going out by taking into consideration the location of the place you’re going, the time of day, who the people are and the number of people going.
Here are a few tips and tricks I use and I’ve seen others use when they’re going out. Remember to stay safe, wash your hands, social distance and wear your mask. Go out as responsibly as you can and if you’re uncomfortable just leave.
If you have symptoms/ contact stay home
If your throat feels a little funny or you have coughing bouts it’s best to simply cancel your plans so you can keep friends and family safe. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and especially with Covid 19 presenting in many different ways in many different people your mild case may not be mild in another person. Therefore, stay home if you have symptoms. I also extend this rule if you have contact with a positive case, say someone in the work place came back positive, even if you are asymptomatic (ie without symptoms) it’s better to self monitor for symptoms and self isolate as best as possible.
Stick to outdoors
The best ventilation is outdoors. Choosing outdoor activities or locations with seating outdoors is great for ventilation and reducing the risk of covid 19.
Go when it’s slow
Alternatively, if the place doesn’t have outdoor spaces available then go when it’s slow. Less people = less risk. I prefer to limit indoor dining because you have to take off your mask to eat, and there’s laughing and talking all around you- including at your table. But if you still choose somewhere indoors go on days and at times when they’re less likely to have people. The same goes for outdoor places!
Create a safe bubble
When the pandemic started I saw a lot of international articles talking about people creating safe bubbles. And these were family and friends that they considered ‘safe’. So if they would go out or have activities in the home these were the people who were invited. An added element is also taking into consideration their symptoms and contact with persons with covid 19.
Keep groups small
What else can I say other than less people, less risk?
Rules still apply at home
During the pandemic, homes have become the newest hangout spots. Just because you’re having a lyme at home doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk of covid 19. In these settings it is easy to let your guard down and reduce social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing. Just because you’re home or in someone’s home doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Also, try having an outside event instead of an inside one so that ventilation is better and it’s easier to be spaced apart.
Don’t count out the value of connecting with friends and family online. There is so much you can do online and it might not feel the same but it’s 100% covid 19 safe. You can now play games, watch movies and do all other sorts of activities online. Order in some food and spend quality time with friends and family online.
At the end of the day, we have to understand risk. You try to get it as close to zero as you can. During the pandemic the number one priority is prevention. Now that we have vaccines available I encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Now, I think the ship has sailed for us going back to “normal”, what we are working towards now is a new normal where we can balance safety with spending quality time with loved ones.
Did I miss any tips? Share some below!
Samantha C. Johnson