I’m not going to lie. I do not care about football. At all. Games are long and boring. In pre-COVID times, I’d go shopping while my husband watched games. When it came to the Super Bowl, I was 100% in for the snacks and hanging out with friends. But this year, like so many other things COVID-19 has taken away, I won’t be hanging out with friends. It will just be me and my husband. And the snacks.
That doesn’t mean we can’t still be social! If there is one thing the pandemic has shown us, it’s that it’s really not that hard to connect with friends and family, no matter where they are. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime—whatever your preferred method of video chat—are available 24-7. Use them! If you’re looking for a social connection this Sunday while you watch the game, set up a group call with friends and/or family, and react to the plays (and commercials and halftime show) in real time from a safe distance.
Share snack recipes or see who can come up with the most unique game day treat. Compete with each other for who can dress in the best football garb. Play Game Day or commercial BINGO. There are free printable versions online, or make up your own if you’re creative! Take bets on the final score. Loser owes the winner cupcakes or beef jerky or whatever you’re into.
But if you absolutely cannot fathom being physically apart from friends and/or extended family for the big game, please take steps to keep your party from becoming a super spreader event. Remember: COVID-19 spreads really easily, even without symptoms.
So what can you do to hold a safer gathering?
- Limit your gathering to one other household. The more households, the greater the risk of virus transmission.
- Stay outside. Use a projector to watch the game. Go inside only when absolutely necessary.
- Stay six feet or more from people you don’t live with. This also means no high fives except for air high fives.
- Wear a mask. Even if you’re outside and at least six feet apart, you still need to wear a mask. Take it off when you’re actively eating and drinking, but put it back on between bites or sips.
- Limit your yelling/cheering. The louder you speak, the more aerosols you emit, and the more likely you are to spread the virus if you have it. Bring a noisemaker, clap, stomp your feet, silently swear to yourself—whatever you need to do to keep your volume down and your aerosols to yourself.
- Bring your own food/drinks. Share snacks only with members of your own household. Obviously, this means you need to make the most delicious appetizer so everyone else is jealous. And for once, you don’t need to share!
- On that note, bring your own plates, cups, utensils, etc.
- Keep hand sanitizer handy. If you touch a common surface, wash your hands or use sanitizer.
- Moderate your alcohol intake. We all know alcohol lowers our inhibitions. If you have a few too many, you may be less likely to take proper COVID-19 precautions.
- Looking for more tips: Check out these from the CDC.
Public Health definitely doesn’t encourage you to hold or attend a gathering this Sunday. But if you do choose to gather, please be as safe as possible!