As restrictions on Albertans continue to be lifted, many Calgarians are going to be wondering whether it’s okay to see friends and family members again. Is it safe to eat dinner at a friend’s house? Can we come together to celebrate birthdays and weddings? Well, it depends. Every activity is going to have its own level of risk, and you’ll have to decide how much risk you’re willing to shoulder while staying within the government guidelines.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Alberta has allowed cohort families. These quaranTEAMS were made up of two households (often family or friends) who isolated in separate homes but still spent time together. This would allow for support with childcare as well as protect against depression and anxiety while isolating. As Alberta opens up, you may be thinking of opening your bubble further: inviting friends over for dinner or going over to grandma’s to celebrate Canada Day.
While it might be tempting to jump right back to normal where you welcome your friends into your home and eat around the dining room table, epidemiologists rank this as a medium to high-risk activity. Any time you’re indoors for a prolonged period of time with people outside your quaranTEAM, you’ve greatly increased your risk. Even if you set up your table so that different households are spaced far apart, a meal typically takes an hour or more. If a window is open because it’s hot, then the air is circulating and moving the virus around as people talk. And as the evening progresses, people are apt to stop social distancing entirely.
A Better Solution:
Invite your pals over for an outdoor BBQ instead of an indoor sit-down meal. Set up tables and chairs on opposite sides of the lawn, and ask your guests to bring their own beverages AND tableware. Just by moving outdoors (which makes social distancing easier and greatly reduces the risk of contagion), your outdoor dinner becomes low- to medium-risk. By using separate tables and dishware, you’re firmly in low-risk territory.
If your backyard isn’t built to facilitate small, outdoor parties, consider working with a Calgary landscaper to change that! Outdoor kitchen and dining spaces are extremely popular and may help to boost your property value and, as Canadians learn how to come together safely, we’ll be spending much more time in our backyards. A Calgary landscaper can help you to realize your backyard oasis. We’ll design your space based on your priorities and needs and advise you on how to get the most out of your yard so that as more family time takes place outside, you’ll be ready!
Canadians miss their friends and family. We likely won’t have a vaccine for another 18 months to 2 years, which means at least another summer of social distancing. We think we speak for everyone when we say that Canadians are going to have to try to find solutions for maintaining our relationships safely. We need to be able to see the people we love, but we need to come together responsibly. That means spending as much together as possible outdoors instead of inside. It also means wearing masks and gloves when appropriate. The friendly Calgary landscapers at Five Star Landscaping can help. We work with you from design to actualization to craft a beautiful yard perfectly suited to your needs.
Many of our needs are changing as COVID-19 demands we adapt to a new normal. If what you need from your yard has changed, we can help. Call us today.