How to Style your Backyard for a Gathering During Covid-19.
While there are some areas where total lockdown is still in effect and gatherings are banned, some places have lifted some restrictions. It may not be normal, but having a small gathering can make you feel like you're back to normal. It will just look a little different than usual.
- Keep the gathering small. Listen to your limits on how many people are allowed outside and be realistic. Even if you were able to have a backyard party of 100 people, can you safely fit 100 people in your backyard? Unless you live on sprawling acreage, the chances are pretty high that you cannot. Go for the proper spacing rather than the number that's allowed. Keep it small and intimate, making sure there's plenty of room between people. You have to feel comfortable having people over, but the people coming over have to feel comfortable, too. That means keeping the guest list short and sweet, making sure there's plenty of room between people so that everyone can safely visit. Always keep up to date on the rules and restrictions in place, and know that canceling an event right now doesn't mean they will be canceled, forever.
- Keep space between guests. Create a space where guests can talk freely with one another, but one that won't have them too close together. The golden rule is staying 6 foot apart and making sure that you're not in a group setting. Place chairs far enough away that will keep your guest(s) 6 feet apart from each other and yourself. Use caution tape to map out distances, acting as reminders to not get too close.
- Get disposable plates and cutlery. It may seem like a backward slide in the environmental area of life, but using plastic plates and cutlery, if serving food, will be much easier and less stressful for those you've invited to your small backyard party. Try using a biodegradable option for cups and compostable plates so we don't end up continuing to ruin the planet while we get together. While keeping a marker out at parties for keeping cups separate is often popular, tell your guests to keep their cups with them to avoid any possible cross-contamination.
- Have hand sanitizer, wipes, wash stations, and masks available. Encourage people to both bring their masks and wear them during the event and to use the washroom in their homes before they leave for your own. It may seem a bit harsh closing off your bathroom to guests, going against our manners, but remember that, for a lot of people, they won't be comfortable coming into your home, just like you may not be comfortable inviting them in. Keep your gatherings short so it will discourage any bathroom usage.
- Sanitize all surfaces once guests leave. Wipe down and sanitize all surfaces that guests may have come into contact with and throw out any garbage. Have designated garbage that can easily be accessible for your guests to use before they leave, ensuring that garbage isn't sitting in your yard.