Family gatherings, whether it’s a reunion or a simple annual get-together, are always exciting to organize and have. However, planning a fun and memorable family gathering can also be challenging, especially with the pandemic still not over. Nowadays, organizing gatherings and events require extra more safety precautions than before.
Depending on the state or city, health and safety laws, guidelines, or regulations must be taken into account when planning a family gathering. While postponing a gathering or celebrating virtually is often the best thing to do, it’s such a shame to skip a family tradition, right? So here are some easy tips on how you can organize a safe family gathering during this pandemic.
1. Plan and prepare a healthy menu
Preparing healthy meals for your gathering should be a priority. The best way to do this is to have food assignments for everyone. Ensure there are no repeats. It’s also best to keep refrigerated ingredients at a minimum and go for recipes or meals using fresh ingredients.
Furthermore, take note of your family member’s food allergies and ask them for any request or adjustments to the menu. For breakfast meals, the best ones to go for are peaches and cream cinnamon rolls, California casseroles, or healthy sandwiches. You can prepare fresh tomato basil pasta or chicken Caesar wraps for lunch and some Cajun grilled packets for dinner.
2. Invite wisely
It’s a golden rule that a person with an underlying condition, especially kids and the elderly, should not attend a gathering. Someone who’s also been exposed to the virus two weeks before the event should not also be invited. Others without such concerns should still consider getting tested or having a medical check-up before the event.
A family party or reunion can be jeopardized if you’ve got people who don’t follow safety protocols and put others and themselves at risk. If you can’t exclude such individuals from the guest list, spend time around family members who take face masks or physical distancing seriously.
3. Travel smart and safely
In case you decide to travel for your family gathering, be mindful of the strict safety measures being implemented in the areas. These typically include staying at least six feet apart from anyone, wearing masks in public settings or mass transportation, and using hand sanitizer regularly. Nevertheless, be sure to check the current local guidelines and know when to delay your travel.
If you’re planning for an overnight stay, it’s best to first determine the risk of infection based on how you and your family members will travel. If you’ll stay in an enclosed venue, keep the doors and windows open for better ventilation.
4. Create strict attendee etiquette
Creating a strict etiquette, particularly for the handling of food and eating, is highly necessary. Keep in mind that viruses (not just COVID-19) can spread through mishandling of food packaging or utensils. Encourage guests to wear their masks while the food is being prepared and serve. You can also provide a breathable bag where attendees can store their masks while drinking or eating.
As for greeting, it’s recommended to minimize any kind of gesture that promotes close contact. Just verbally greet or wave at each other instead of hugging or shaking hands. Communicate these precautions properly to avoid awkward moments.
Make sure to limit the people going in and out of the party or event venue and crowding in areas, especially enclosed spaces or rooms. Wash hands or use alcohol at all times, especially during instances wherein shareable items can’t be avoided. Other etiquette you can follow is practicing social distancing as much as possible and avoiding shouting or loud talking when not wearing masks.
5. Know what to do after
Regardless of how detailed and serious you are with the planning, faults and problems can still creep in, especially with an ongoing pandemic. Check with the invited family members for anyone who’s feeling unwell following the gathering. Anyone having shortness of breath, body aches, or fever? Precautions should be taken two weeks after the event to protect others, including staying at home and avoiding physical contact. Everyone in contact should also consider getting tested just to make sure.
Keep in mind that planning a family gathering these days demands more time and effort to ensure everyone’s safety. Surely, you don’t want to risk the health of your family member and relatives just because of carelessness, do you? Follow our tips and celebrate an exciting and safe event with your loved ones even in the midst of this frustrating pandemic.