Here’s a heartening fact: More people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States than have ever caught the disease. In fact, vaccination is advancing at a rapid pace, and many experts expect the U.S. to have enough doses for all adults by the end of May.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a COVID-free summer. As much as you might want to party with friends or travel during your summer vacation, you should recognize that everyone will likely need to continue taking precautions against COVID-19 for several more months, if not into 2022, to ensure that the disease is good and gone. Being safe throughout summer will help reduce the number of COVID cases amongst children, who likely won’t be vaccinated until after adults receive their doses, and in countries outside the U.S., which will likely remain vulnerable for at least the next year.
Even if you receive your vaccine before summer hits, here are some tips to protect those who remain susceptible to the disease and stay COVID-safe all summer long:
Keep Wearing Your Mask
COVID-19 spreads primarily through airborne water droplets which are exhaled or expelled from the nose and mouth. By preventing those water droplets from escaping into the air around us, we can all but fully halt the spread of coronavirus. The right kind of mask — one that has at least two layers of fabric — is an effective trap for water droplets, so wearing a mask will continue to be important until enough people are vaccinated to mitigate disease spread.
To most, wearing a face mask during a sweltering summer doesn’t sound all that appealing. Fortunately, masks do not actually impede the intake of oxygen; unfortunately, cornering exhaled air against your face is likely to make you feel uncomfortable, so it is more important than ever that you choose masks that you want to wear.
You should think of your mask like another accessory integral to your wardrobe. You can search girls’ face masks for options that coordinate with your summer outfits, particularly any new swimsuits that you might wear to your neighborhood pool or the local beach. Most experts anticipate bright, warm colors to be in style all summer long. You can’t go wrong with light-hued neutrals and natural tones for your mask, but if you have a more adventurous style, you should opt for colorful patterns, even tie-dye.
Gather in Smaller Groups
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released new recommendations regarding social gatherings now that more and more people are becoming fully vaccinated. Essentially, those who are fully vaccinated are permitted to spend time indoors with other fully vaccinated individuals — just like in pre-COVID times. However, a fully vaccinated person should continue to exercise caution around those who are not fully vaccinated, which means continuing to wear masks, meet outside, maintain physical distance and avoid blending social bubbles.
Ultimately, a vaccine doesn’t liberate you from all COVID restrictions. This summer, you might be able to see more people than you did in 2020, but you should try to keep gatherings on the smaller side. This will allow you to check the vaccination status of everyone you meet with, and it will ensure that you aren’t mixing households of unvaccinated individuals and risking COVID spread.
Explore the Great U.S.
Some countries have opened their doors to American tourists, but it might be a good idea to put off your plans for international travel for another year. Instead, you should focus this summer on experiencing what America has to offer. Travel opportunities abound in a huge, diverse country like the U.S., and because you can drive to most domestic destinations, you can limit your exposure to the virus and keep others safe, too.
This summer, you should prioritize outdoor travel adventures, which will help to put physical distance between you and other tourists. Spending time in nature is also a good way to shake the feeling of cabin fever that has developed over the past year of social isolation in quarantine. Fresh air, wildlife encounters and exercise will lift your spirits and prepare you to face the last few months of the pandemic.
If everyone continues following the recommendations of public health experts, this could be the last summer you spend under COVID’s thumb. By wearing a mask and planning your social engagements and travel appropriately, you can reduce the spread and ensure that you have a covid-safe summer.