We live in the “the new normal”. World has been in the siege of a raging pandemic with over a million lives lost but life still has to go on. Events, Birthday, Showers etc are all key events in life that we have to gather round and socialize. We attend to see and catch up with our family and friends – and let’s face it – sometimes zoom doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you want to attend in person. We love to get all dolled up, see one another, exchange greetings and it’s just not the same when one is sat behind a computer screen. That’s begs the question ‘how do we do us’ but still remain safe during this covid 19 pandemic.
On behalf of all staff and management, we wish all our patrons and vendors a truly Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…
If you’re considering attending an event or party during COVID, here are a few suggestions to help you focus on the health and safety of yourself and others.
- First decide – ‘go or no go’ – If you don’t feel comfortable attending an event or party during this time, it’s more than OK to politely decline the invitation. To increase your confidence levels don’t be afraid to ask pertinent questions from the host such as is it an indoor or outdoor venue? Adults only or are kids allowed? How many invited guests in total? What extra covid precautions are being taken during the event? Obviously, a lot of tact is involved but any considerate host would welcome these questions. Should you decide not to attend then this is where sending a gift is quite handy if you can’t go. Remember, just because you pass on physically attending the event doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with the couple. See if they’re planning a way for guests to attend the event virtually. Or, set up your own online meeting with them to personally congratulate them. Once you’ve made your decision to skip the festivities, stick to it. While people may be upset about you not attending, you’re protecting your personal health and wellbeing. Don’t let outside opinions sway you or make you feel guilty.
- Watch your Symptoms – Leading up to the event, keep track of how you’re feeling. Do you have a fever, stuffy nose or bad cough? If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, it’s best to skip the event. Even if it’s not coronavirus, you don’t want to be spreading any kind of sickness to other guests (or to the happy couple for that matter). Your friends and family will understand. Contact the couple and let them know what’s going on, and send them a gift to let them know you’re thinking of them. It’s also a smart idea to socially distance before the event. That means limiting any unnecessary contact with others for about two weeks ahead of the event. This way, you can feel confident that you’ve lessened your chances of contracting the virus and spreading it at the event. You can also go get tested before the event to confirm whether or not you have the virus.
- Wash and Sanitize hands – Corona virus can be contracted from certain surfaces or physical touch, so it’s important to wash and sanitize your hands as often as possible. If you use the bathroom, wear a mask and wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Use your non dominant hand whenever possible. We recommend keeping a hand sanitizer nearby so that you can clean your hands throughout the celebration. Some couples are handing out hand sanitizer as a welcome gift or as a favour, but like masks, we recommend bringing your own just to be safe. Remember so matter how emotional things get, refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wear Face covering – Wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways you, as an event guest, can ensure the safety of yourself and others. Even if you’re outdoors, comply with government guidelines and wear a mask if you’re within six feet of another person. Lastly wearing a mask shouldn’t interfere with your swag. It’s worth spending a little bit extra on quality effective face masks and coverings. You can buy masks in different colours so that matching your outfit is not a problem.
- Maintain Social Distancing – Unfortunately, events and other large social gatherings have potential to be virus super spreader events, so it’s imperative you keep your distance from others. We know it’s sad you won’t be able to give your loved ones a congratulatory hug, shakes, kisses, but it’s more important to keep everyone safe. Remember: you can always hug once it’s safe again. Remain six feet apart for as much of the event as you can (during the ceremony, during dinner and during the reception). It may be challenging, but with a little extra care, you can still celebrate with your friends and family from a safe distance.
- Follow Usher and Venue instructions – While you’re at the event, respect the signage that the venue, vendors or couples provide. If there’s a lane of one-way traffic, walk in the assigned direction. Similarly, follow guidelines on programs, menus, seating charts or any other signs at the event. The couple and their team likely put a lot of time and effort into making the event as safe as possible, so be sure to respect their wishes.
- Gift in Envelopes – Some cultures engage in activities such as ‘making it rain’ or spraying money. This is not advisable during a pandemic and its puts yourself and the couple at risk if you engage in said activities. Its advisable and even stylish to put said money in an envelope and discreetly hand it over to the couple. That way you limit yourself and others around from close contact involved in elaborate money gifting celebrations.
- Stay Outside Whenever Possible – Health experts have said it’s safer to be outside whenever possible. If the ceremony is indoors, time your arrival so you come right when it starts and leave immediately once it’s over. Additionally, make your trips to the bathroom as quick as possible (read: skip the chit chat until you’re outside again). If the couple is indoors for some reason, wait until they come outside to speak with them. The couple, the vendors and the other guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness around this precautionary measure.
- Leave If uncomfortable – Additionally, if you decide to attend an event during COVID, know you can leave if you feel uncomfortable at any time. If other guests (or the couple) aren’t following social distancing guidelines, you’re within your rights to politely excuse yourself from the gathering. End of the day, you can’t control the behaviour of scores of other people but you can control yours. IF the environment is not safe, don’t be part of the problems, be part of the solution and leave
- Check back and get tested if necessary – Finally it can take up to 14 days for Covid symptoms to manifest. After attending the party, it’s important to be mindful of your social interactions and contact with others. If you caught the virus from attending the event you can likely to spread the virus to others before symptoms appear. Hence its pays to be extra cautious after attending any function. Check with your host and other friends who attending – is everyone feeling ok? If not its worth to get yourself tested to ensure you are also spreading the virus. If your test is positive, do inform yours host so that they can initiate tract and trace endeavours and check with their other guests.