If I hear the word “unprecedented”, or the expression “the new normal” one more time, my abject COVID fatigue may cause me to emit a low-level scream! If the truth be known, we are all chomping at the bit to resume the activities that we deeply miss, and for many of us that will be the joy of reconnecting with family and friends.
As exciting as this proposition is, we can’t ignore the impact that this pandemic has had on everyone’s psyche and so when we consider entertaining again, we must realize that our guests will have different levels of comfort as they reengage. Here are some things that may be helpful as you prepare to welcome people back into your home.
- Ask your guests in advance to be transparent about how they feel about being in a small gathering. This will help you “stage” your home in a way that will allow them to feel safe.
- The great summer weather allows us gather in back yards which makes physical distancing that much easier. Prepare your seating in such a way that allows both intimacy and spacing.
- Consider using disposable & recyclable plates and cups.
- Disinfect and sanitize your main floor washroom and let your guests know that it is exclusively for their use. Assign a family member to do a quick wipe-down after someone uses it so that it is disinfected for the next person.
- If you choose to meet inside, remember, clean is king! I know that I am biased, but the message received when you let your family and friends know that you have freshly cleaned your carpets, furniture and air ducts is a loud one.
- Discourage guests from helping with the cleanup: this is your chance to spoil them and let them know upfront that this evening is your treat. That is also a nice way of making sure that you are not all in close proximity in the kitchen area.
- Finally, as the host, help your guests start to dream again. Maybe avoid talking about COVID-19 and rather talk about places they want to visit or things they want to do. Laugh a lot, enjoy an adult beverage or two and breathe in this new season of hope!
If we have learned anything during this time, surely it is the realization that the simple things in life are wonderful and to be savored. We have all self-reflected and probably wondered aloud why we used to do some of the things we used to do. So now, let’s use this “Summer Like No Other” to rebuild relationships, foster new ones, and make our lives more about people than about things!