Summer is a season everyone seems to look forward to. Kids are out of school (which isn’t always great for families with two working parents) and it feels like the days could last forever.
Something we are very much looking forward to in our house is the end of this virtual school year. As the weather is warming up, our attention spans for school work are lessening. This doesn’t mean we’ll stop learning. It will just be much more informal.
This year, however, summer will be quite different. We’re still working on physical distancing, working from home when possible, and making tough decisions like “should I put my kids in day camps?”
Keeping safe while enjoying summer will be a challenge this year. We hope to get to the cottage we usually visit, but we’ll have less people joining us there. Our visits to the family pool will be fewer, and better planned. And we’ll mostly be sticking close to home.
So how can you safely enjoy the summer?
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Gather only in small groups.
We have been doing such a great job in Ontario (Kingston especially) practicing physical distancing. There have been very few cases of Covid in our city, and all are currently resolved. But we can’t relax entirely.
Being aware of where others have been, and with who, will help when you want to gather with family and friends. Should an outbreak occur, you will already be armed with that knowledge and prepared to isolate, if you have been exposed.
There’s no need to stay completely isolated, unless you feel unwell or have potentially been exposed to the virus. Get out and socialize safely.
Wear masks if you’re asked to.
This is a no-brainer. While you may not be high risk, many others are. Please be mindful of every request when you are out in the community.
There are tons of cute mask options, and lots of skilled people making them, so there is no excuse not to own your own cloth mask that you can keep in your purse or car. (Don’t forget to wash it after it’s been worn.)
Yes, a mask is an inconvenience, and they’re hot, but it’s the least you can do to help others retain their piece of mind.
Keep your distance from people you don’t know/can’t contact again.
Should you decide to head to fairly heavily populated areas (parks, beaches, retail outlets, or busy downtown sidewalks) try to keep your distance. With no way of tracing people you may have come into contact with, outbreaks become more difficult to manage.
Many stores have signage to help you stay safely distant from other shoppers. Mind those signs, be smart about your browsing, and don’t take your whole family pod inside buildings if you don’t need to.
Swim in pools and beaches safely.
Coronavirus does not spread in the water. Because you need to breathe in the virus in order to contract it, swimming does not need to be avoided.
What does need to be avoided is all the other people who are also enjoying the pool or beach. Potential virus hot-spots around pools and beaches are washrooms, chairs, and anything else you may touch while enjoying a sunny day.
Take your hand sanitizer, and coordinate visits to family pools so you don’t end up with an unexpected large gathering.
Turn off the tech and get outside.
Doesn’t this beautiful weather make you want to get outside? It’s time to turn off the screens and get into your yards and gardens.
If your kids are interested in gardening, encourage them to pull weeds in your flower beds or from around your vegetables. Maybe they like to play in water – you can let them get wet while watering your plants. Sprinkers can perform double duty here!
Have a small backyard BBQ. Keep it to your social bubble, but encourage outdoor play. Or go camping! With the provincial and national parks beginning to reopen, options for camping are slowly opening up. Follow the rules at each location, and allow everyone to safely enjoy the summer.
Stay hydrated, whatever you’re doing.
Bring a water bottle with you everywhere. Public fountains and washrooms may not be open and summer weather can be hot.
Sometimes we’ll bring a small cooler with a few drink options, if we’re going to be out for most of the day.
Wash your hands after everything you do.
We’ve learned how to wash our hands properly. Now we have to stay in the habit of doing it.
Every time you come home from an outing, wash your hands with soap and water. It sounds silly to say this, but I know there have been times I’ve forgotten. Make it part of your routine of returning home: hang up your keys and wash your hands right away.
Taking precautions means we can still enjoy summer, even during the chaos of a pandemic. Keeping your distance from people you don’t know, and continuing to monitor the local situations will allow you and your family to safely enjoy the summer.
Have you made plans this summer? We usually enroll the girls in day camps most weeks, but we have no plans as of yet. We are hoping to take our first swim in the family pool (at my husband’s mother’s house) soon, but we’re coordinating to avoid all the family being there at once.
Be sure you’re following my Facebook Page so you can see what fun we manage to find even while we’re practicing physical distancing.