Memorial Day: Celebrating Safely

Since Memorial Day this year will be different for many people, we thought it would be a good idea to go over safe celebration practices. Right now, Illinois remains in Phase Two of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan. Under Phase Two rules, Illinoisans cannot gather in large groups, restaurants and bars are not open for in-dining, and other businesses remain closed. So, it would seem Memorial Day will get the same COVID-19 treatment that other holiday’s received this year. Despite this, many people will still celebrate the holiday at home, and some people may have family over. Although it will become increasingly more difficult to keep people from moving around as the weather warms, we need to move safely. In the interest of everyone’s health and life, celebrate Memorial Day wisely. This post will go over safe ways to celebrate the holiday.

How Close Are We To Phase Three?

As many people know, Illinois remains in Phase Two, with the deadline for the stay-at-home order looming. Illinois seems to be on course to transition into Phase Three, where gatherings of up to 10 people can resume, bars and restaurants can open with capacity limits along with retail stores. It’s very important that we remember how far we have come and how close we are to the next step. We must remain vigilant so that we do not create a spike in cases that would push us back a Phase. With that being said, many people are undoubtedly going to see their families over the weekend to celebrate Memorial Day. If you plan on having family or friends over to celebrate, please do so with caution.

Safest Ways To Celebrate

In order to celebrate safely, those hosting need to take the right precautions. Although the forecast calls for rain, the day should be hot, which makes celebrating outdoors a viable option. Top infectious disease experts recommend not gathering, but do admit that gathering indoors leads to a higher chance of infection and spread. So celebrating outdoors gives people less of a chance of contracting or spreading the virus.

On the other hand, if the weather forces people inside, the next best option is to keep windows open. One reason it is safe to be outside is do to all the open space and ventilation. The same principle applies when taking your celebration inside. Keeping the windows allows air to flow in and out of your home, lowering the chances of a spread or infection.

That’s Deep, Man

If you are hosting a small gathering for Memorial Day, then it’s time for a deep house cleaning. Most disinfectants such as Lysol can kill the novel virus, and most surfaces can tolerate it. The best places to disinfect in your home are places where you expect people to interact. Since guests often use chairs, couches, tables, and counter tops, they should be a priority on your list.

Virtual Connections

While some people will break quarantine and visit family or friends, there are people who will not or cannot take the risk. For those who do not plan on going anywhere or having anyone over, but still want to connect with friends and family, try connecting virtually.

At this point, many of us have either downloaded Zoom, used FaceTime, or a similar application in order to see family or friends. These virtual ways of connecting with loved ones help rid ourselves of loneliness in an age of physical distancing. Additionally, it gives people peace of mind knowing they cannot spread or contract COVID-19 while staying home.

Take-Home Message

Whether you decide to stay in, have people over, or go to a family or friend’s house to celebrate Memorial Day, please do so with caution. Remember how close we are to transitioning into Phase Three, and all the new measure that come with Phase Three. We all have a responsibility to each other and ourselves to ensure our COVID-19 number do not spike. If you plan on having people over, please keep the celebration outdoors or in well ventilated areas, and deep clean your home before guests arrive. Additionally, for anyone who chooses to stay in, do not get left out! Thankfully we live in an age of technology that lets us see and hear each other in real-time, so take advantage of virtual connections. Regardless of how you do it, we hope you all have a safe Memorial Day weekend.