So many of you look at the title and are saying WTF? Has this lady gone bat-shit crazy, there is no such thing as a big pink elephant? (But it is cute, isn’t it). Others of you are laughing, because you know exactly what I mean when I talk about the big pink elephant in the room. Do I have your attention for a moment at least? Where do we go?
What are we going to do about Life with the Big Covid-19 beast?
. Folks, it is here for the long haul, so fasten you seat belts, keep your arms and legs safely inside the car because the ride has already begun. I want to discuss the little things in life that have changed and where do we go now. Well, you thought the changes were little, at first. But now it isn’t cute anymore. You used to ask for a nice long extended weekend; well here it is folks; how do you like it now?
Think about it, your kids are home, all the time and bored and under your feet. You may be not working and getting some sort of unemployment or better yet, ha-ha, working from home. Now that’s a real riot isn’t it? Kids being home-schooled, you are working from home, spouse is working from home too. All inside a nice cozy 1200 sqft. apartment or house, yay you! I already wrote a blog about making it more bearable.
But for now, right this moment, you are tired of this “game of Covid”, tired of how the world is dealing with it, tired of seeing the same faces. Tired of hearing of people who went to parties because they didn’t believe all the hype, but then they died of Covid. After all, who do you believe?
Do you believe the government?
What can we do? They tell you that a bar is an essential business. A bar filled with strangers; yet a church isn’t, a church where you more than likely know everyone. Do you believe that a big-box store like Walmart is safer than your family? That is what they are telling you after all. It is ok to go shopping at all the big box stores.
But do not have Sunday dinner with family, do not pray with family. Unless you live with them, then it is ok. But if you live with them, by now, month six, you are ready for a break from them. Separate vacations or something like that.
So where do we go from here?
Everything we do in everyday life has been affected by this beast. If you are clothes shopping, many stores do not allow you to try things on before you buy them now. If you are going to most stores of any type, they now require masks. Like it or not, there are signs on a lot of windows saying so. Some are stern about their social distancing rules, others seem to care less. And it varies by state and country too.
Going to a salon seems to damn near be a thing of the past. I don’t remember my last hair cut or the last time I had my eyebrows done. And I haven’t seen my doctor in person this year either. Virtual visits, I believe are here to stay.
Next up, grocery shopping, the “experts” say that you should utilize on-line shopping with curbside pickup or delivery. What they don’t say is that it costs more than doing it in person. If you look at the price of an item that you put in a cart to shop online and then go into the store and look at the exact same item. The one for online shopping costs more. And please do not tell me it is because the store needs to make money from online shopping. They already charge a fee for that. and most of us can barely afford groceries to begin with. Especially now that prices sky-rocketed thanks to our buddy Covid-19.
Rules, Rules, Rules, My how they are Changing! So what happens now?
So if you really must do your own shopping, wear a mask (check), shop when nobody else does (lmbo), stay six feet away from everyone else (because we all know everyone follows that guideline). Oh and make sure you follow the arrows on the floor for one-way lanes, sanitize your hands before and after shopping, do not touch your face, and do not shop in groups.
Have I forgotten any of the new shopping rules? Oh yes, do not use cash, use debit or credit or an app to pay for everything. Because suddenly we don’t want to use cash anymore, we want to be a cashless country. Let that sink in.
A Cashless Society? What is next?
I think getting gas and the new rules about it could be my new favorite. Because, in addition to the need to make sure that there is not a skimmer on the gas pump, now we have more steps to take. We are supposed to bring sanitizer clothes with us because they are in such abundance. First off, wipe off the keypad, face of the machine and pump handle with a sanitizer cloth. This will take more than one more than likely.
Now that you sanitized and checked for a skimmer, then you can go ahead and pay and pump and when you pull your card out of the machine, wipe it down with hand sanitizer briefly. After you are all done, and ready to get into your car, don’t forget to sanitize your hands, and you may as well give a quick swipe to your door handle while you are at it. Ugh, where do we go? Where did our lives go?
Let’s Eat~ Dine out anyone?
So, as we continue this new way of life, where do we go, well let’s grab a bite to eat. First choice is dine-in (if available), curbside pickup, carry-out or delivery. My the choices that are now available. This is of course if you can afford to go out to eat now that you have paid the extortion prices for toilet tissue and sanitizer wipes. Well, the first thing the “expert” guidelines are saying is to not use valet service. My first thought was, well that is so good to know, because the places I dine have all got valet parking. Um, nope not me, how about you?
Then they say to make sure to call ahead and make sure that the staff where you are going wears masks. Then to choose dining outside if available. Ok, so how about just making sure that the tables are distanced far enough apart and staff wearing masks? I live in Phoenix and I am not going to be eating outside for at least another month or more.
Then up north that option is going to end about the time it really is nice here. Except for fire-pits, places up north with fire-pits and torches near outside dining are the bomb! So very cozy to sit outside in the cool air and eat and drink by a fire-pit.
Host a Party Anyone?
Then I read about how to host a home gathering. I can only believe that the site is referring to things like Labor Day parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. Let’s see if I can break this down and make it sound more reasonable than they did. Because where do we go? The experts and their new rules and suggestions make me want to jump off a cliff! How about if the weather is nice, do an outdoor event?
I have had an outdoor dinner when I had a nice large back yard. I took my big table out on my patio and covered it with a linen tablecloth. Used nice dishes, real stemware, and a centerpiece. Something like you see in the movies or on tv. It turned out incredible, I kept bugs at bay by lighting every tiki torch I had, placing citronella candles all around and earlier in the day fogged my yard. It is a favorite memory of mine. I put all the food dishes on a side table under covers. I got creative, cold dishes were in larger bowls of ice and covered with lids that fits them. Hot dishes, I kept warm in insulated bags. Not a single person minded opening something up to get a second serving.
What now? Let’s Covid it up!
Arrange tables and chairs in family groups is the recommendation. Then place the tables about 6 feet apart. Ok, so I understand this, I truly do, however if I am going to a small get together of people that I know and am friends with; I probably want my teenager to go hang with his friends and not simply wave from a nearby table. How about, plan ahead, ask everyone to be mindful and make sure that they have no symptoms, no temperature? Maybe even ask if everyone minds if you have one of those roller or touch-less thermometers at the door to take temperatures?
When you greet people at the door is your chance to set the mood for how things will be in terms of handling the covid-19 crisis. If you do nothing, act like it doesn’t exist, then that is your choice. If you choose to step up a little and take a few precautions or a lot of precautions it will change the mood of your gathering. We are being told to not hug or even fist bump our friends. But to simply wave when we see them. Unless they are ill, I say to hell with that. Who stands back and waves at friends and family when they come to your house?
What do we do now? Keep your guests safe too!
Have a hand washing area clearly marked for people coming in the door. A nearby bathroom with signs leading to it. Signs that say please wash your hands when entering? Then some hand sanitizer bottles on tables and counters around the area outside or the room if inside. People used to give little gift bags for guests at parties. Imagine if when your guests arrived, they got a little pocket-sized hand sanitizer? Those things are like gold to some people. And if everyone has one, nobody can be offended. Offer masks too, paper one’s are fine for a home party and then if someone feels more comfortable wearing one, they can. And they won’t feel funny since you offered it to them.
Air Quality Matters!
The recommendation is to make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window). Which for some is fine, others not so much. Some people have such horrible allergies that they cannot have open windows or outdoor activities. In that case, step up your game and get a better air conditioner filter. There are some amazing one’s out there and if you have a house full of people all the time, I would upgrade to better filters and invest in an air purifier. I had an air purifier for years till it gave out, I had multiple dogs and it made a huge difference in the air quality.
So where do we go? Next up for home parties there is the whole, what to do that doesn’t have people right on top of each other? If you are outside, it is easier to do things that are Covid friendly. You can do a variety of things depending on the age group. Things like play Frisbee, kickball, Simon says, karaoke challenges, corn hole toss, and lawn darts. I am sure there are many more, these will just get your brain turning in the right direction. But let me add for games of tag for the kids, have them grab a pool noodle and use it for tag instead of their hands.
Did someone say we are going to a Party inside?
Inside parties are an entirely different story. I find tons of ideas for individual families. For parties, the ideas aren’t as forthcoming. You can do a movie, if you have enough kids for more than one age group of movies and enough rooms to do it. You could do a little kids movie in one area and a teens’ movie in another.
Just preplan and set things up with comfy chairs or bean bag chairs if you have them and things in between them to encourage social distancing. The little ones’ can be in a corner of the main room with no problem. For adults, it should be easy enough to say, play cards or a board game and keep a mask on when leaning in if you feel the need to. We simply played our games and washed often. Where do we go? We had hand sanitizer on the table and people used it!
What is Really Important…
The most important thing about hosting a party is to remember to enjoy yourself. You can be safe without freaking out over how many calories you are eating or over Covid. Please do not forget that the world goes on, your life needs to also. Make a list of who is at the party and email it to every family.
I always have a list in advance and send out a quick note asking about food allergies and then I share that list with everyone coming. This way in the long run, if anyone does get sick it is simplified to notify everyone else that was there. I hope that this gives you some helpful information.