A lot of people look at the COVID-19 numbers rising and assume that other people are the problem. They only compare their behaviors to the behaviors of the thousands of people rushing pool parties and bars, cramming in, shoulder to shoulder, doing body shots off one another. I think a lot of people say, “Well, I’m not like that. It’s those groups who are the problem. Not me!” I hear it all the time from people who consider themselves responsible. “We’ve been good. I mean, we just visited our cousins and their kids last week for a BBQ. We went to our friend’s new pool, but there were only like eight people there. That’s about it. We have dinner once a week with my husband’s parents but other than that, we really don’t do anything.” Um…I’m pretty sure I just heard a ton of stuff that you do! Not long ago I wrote a post on how COVID-19 is much like STDs, and this is another similarity. People act as if it takes 100 incidents of exposure to catch it. All it takes is one. And it only takes one incident to spread it, too. So please stop thinking that you’re the exception to the rules, and that you’re “being good” when you’re possibly not. Almost nothing is worth risking getting or spreading COVID-19 over. Including the following activities.
Going to a bar
You want someone to make you a special drink. You want a reason to put on a cute outfit. You want to people watch. Okay, well, put on a cute outfit, make yourself a specialty cocktail, and drink that on your balcony while you watch people walk by on the street. Going to a bar is about one of the dumbest reasons to risk COVID-19.
You really want a massage. You’d give anything for a professional facial. You just want a spa day so badly. Don’t we all? But it’s nearly impossible to take the proper precautions when getting a facial or a massage. Let alone sitting in a hot room like a sauna or steam room or Jacuzzi room with other humans. Order some sheet masks online. Draw yourself a hot bath with the doors closed to create a home sauna. Be reasonable.
Hooking up with a stranger
Just because there is a pandemic going on, doesn’t mean people are no longer trying to find love. And I get that. But if it’s really love, then you can both go and get tested and present your negative results before hopping into bed together. Being a little horny and matching with someone on Tinder is no reason to risk getting COVID-19.
Dining in a restaurant
No matter how cute it is and how much you miss the ambiance, don’t do it. And no matter how long the wait is for an outdoor table, don’t do it! Many cities aren’t allowing indoor dining at restaurants, but for those of you living in a place where it is allowed, know that the risk for COVID-19 gets higher when you share circulating air in an enclosed space with an infected person for a prolonged period of time.
I know, I know. You want to try on the jeans or the shoes or the dress right away to see if they fit. But is it really worth risking COVID-19, all to go into a store? You can just shop online. If the items don’t fit, just ship them back, and order a new size. Nobody has a full social calendar right now. What’s the hurry to get the perfect pair of shorts?
Paying someone to install shelves
Though on the one hand I understand wanting to throw some work to your favorite handyman or woman right now, the last thing you want to do during a pandemic is have an outside enter your home and touch all of your surfaces while installing shelves and hanging up ceiling fixtures. Look up a Youtube video. Order the supplies and DIY that thing yourself.
Having someone clean your home
This is another thing that we can all just do ourselves right now. When someone comes into clean your home, they literally need to touch every surface in order to do their job. If you want to help your usual housekeeper out right now, send her a Visa gift card, but clean your own home until we get these case numbers under control.
Having a birthday party
Hey, if you’re an adult, do you really need to throw a birthday party every year? Sure, it’s fun, but turning 38 isn’t exactly a milestone moment worth getting or giving COVID-19 over. Plus, there are so many ways to have a virtual birthday party. If you desperately want to see friends IRL, have a few meet you at an outdoor space, wear masks, and stay distanced. But don’t have a party in your home.
Having a wedding
I’ve gone into great detail on why this is not worth it and not necessary in another post. But it can’t be said enough: if you have a wedding during this pandemic, you are almost definitely going to be the reason somebody if not multiple people get COVID-19. Just hope it isn’t someone elderly or with a preexisting condition. Or…don’t have the wedding?
Having a bachelorette party
The thing about a bachelorette party is that, you don’t really have to have it on the traditional timeline. If you elope and have a COVID-19-safe ceremony right now, you can still get your friends together for a bachelorette party when the pandemic is over. Your girls will always be down to take a little trip with you. Or just have a Zoom one. But don’t risk COVID-19 just so a stripper can shake his package in your face.
A day in the pool
Some pools are re-opening. Like public pools. Or the pool at your country club or gym. Or a hotel pool that allows non-guests to come in and party. But it’s very difficult to maintain social distance at a pool. Everyone is just chair-hopping and spreading germs all over the place. For now, get creative, and just put a kiddy pool in your yard or on your deck.
Trying your friend’s drink
If you eat outdoors at a restaurant and order cocktails, if you pick up smoothies or shakes to go – whatever it is – and your friend’s drink looks way better than yours do not try it. It is literally worth spending the $8 to order your own to avoid swapping germs with someone right now. You don’t need to know what the acai avocado shake tastes like that badly.
I understand that gyms are re-opening in some places. And I understand that we’re all feeling a bit anxious to get out and exercise in a facility with quality equipment, instead of in our living rooms, to YouTube videos. However, think of a gym. People are huffing and puffing and spraying droplets at an alarming rate. If you really want to get out, try an outdoors, socially-distanced workout class. With masks.
Visiting your grandma
This is a very tough one. I would say that the elderly have suffered the most during this pandemic since the only thing they have to look forward to is visits with loved ones. And they often aren’t technologically savvy enough to FaceTime friends and family. So you may feel that the emotional good it would do to visit your granny is worth the risk of COVID-19. But if you got her sick, and she passed away from it, the emotional damage it would do you and your entire family would be permanent.
Supporting a friend
Many of us are put in this position these days. A friend’s band is performing. A friend is doing standup comedy. A friend is doing a poetry reading. Friends are starting to invite us to support their endeavors again. And you feel like you can either be a supportive friend or protect your health. But you know what? A good friend wouldn’t want to put you at risk. A friend who pressures you to risk your health isn’t being supportive of you.