It’s been more than a year since the pandemic started and we’re finally beginning to see a light at the end of this very long tunnel. Soon, we will be living wholly different lives. Lives where we are vaccinated and able hug, bask in the joys of live music with a thousand strangers and so much more, but sadly that future still seems at least several months away. While Pfizer and Moderna are running trials regarding vaccine efficacy and safety for teens, we still don’t really know when kids will get vaccinated just yet.
With summer coming up and the collective urge to get out of the house growing exponentially, Americans will find themselves in the precarious position asking themselves questions such as, “How do I do fun activities or go on fun vacations without putting my kids in harm’s way?”
While we at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC are not infectious disease experts by any means, we do often keep our ears low to the ground and listen to the advice of our fellow scientists and epidemiologists, who are fairly conservative when it comes to taking on risk. When they were asked how we can have a fulfilling, but safe summer for the sake of our kids, here’s what they had to say:
Quick disclaimer: We at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC are in strong support of following the rules the CDC has outlined. We are not a public health organization, so prior to engaging in any of these activities, we recommend speaking with your public health officials or your primary care doctor. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into it!
FIRST: Assess your risk
First and foremost, and like you might have done hundreds of times this past year, you need to re-assess your family’s risk level. If your kids have any illnesses or conditions that put them in the high risk category, you might want to consider consulting your physician prior to engaging in any of the activities suggested below. Also, until we know whether vaccinated people can spread COVID-19 or not, we recommend that you continue to practice social distancing, masking and all other CDC guidelines.
SECOND: Determine what feels safe for you
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After your family risk assessment, you must also decide what’s comfortable for you. Would your family feel comfortable with masks on at a crowded boardwalk or enjoying a 3-course dinner at an indoor restaurant? Are indoor activities completely out of the question for you? Everyone answers these questions differently, but it is important to reflect on what level of exposure you’re comfortable with. If you find yourself in a situation you are unsure about, we recommend you err on the side of caution and play it safe instead.
THIRD: Pick some activities from below & have yourself a safe, yet experience-fueled summer!
If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that there is no shortage when it comes to the number breathtaking parks surrounding northern Virginia. If you’re looking for a great local park, Great Falls is gorgeous any time of the year (keep in mind that weekends can get pretty busy). Some of our other favorite nature hotspots include Bull Run Regional Park, and if you’re up for a slightly longer drive, Shenandoah National Park.
Because outdoor activities are much safer than indoor activities, you can get your social on and kick things up a notch by inviting some friends to your local park for a socially-distanced picnic! Our personal favorite picnicking game is a toss-up (pun intended) between corn hole and good ol’ soccer.
Looking to do something a bit more unique? Flying kites with your kids can be tons of fun!
Food & Drink
Itching to go out for a drink or a bite? Visiting one of Virginia’s many vineyards might be the answer for you! The wonderful thing about vineyards is that they usually have plenty of outdoor seating available, which makes social distancing much easier than it usually is at a crowded restaurant. Some vineyards even have gourmet food menus filled with delicious dishes such as Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery’s delectable blue cheese meatballs!
If a vineyard just won’t cut it, choose a restaurant that has ample outdoor dining space available. Still feeling uninspired? Try combining this suggestion with our last one and have a picnic with takeout from your favorite restaurant! Some of our favorite vineyards in the area include The Winery at Bull Run, Stone Tower Winery and Bluemont Vineyard.
If vineyards and restaurants don’t float your boat, then maybe boating will! Head down to Burke Lake for some canoeing in the marina or kayaking at the National Harbor. It’s easy to social distance in the middle of the water.
Still not convinced? Try going to the pool on off-peak hours. Chlorine should neutralize COVID-19 and keep the water fresh and reasonably safe!
We could all use a vacation right about now. Luckily, there is a safe and responsible way to travel! Opt to go on a road trip instead of flying to keep within your personal pod of people. After all, your car is pretty much an extension of your home. Before venturing into new cities and territories, be sure to look up COVID guidelines so you can familiarize yourself with your destination’s pandemic rules and regulations.
When choosing room or hotel accommodations, we suggest only choosing hotels that are taking sanitation seriously so you can rest assured your room has been thoroughly disinfected. We also recommend bringing your own disinfectant wipes, sprays, pillowcases, blankets etc. so you can wipe everything down one more time.
This one’s pretty self explanatory. As we mentioned above, your car is pretty much an extension of your home, so why not grab your favorite snacks and head to your nearest drive-in theater? Most drive-in theaters will announce their summer 2021 schedule sometime in May, so stay tuned!
Get Your Move On
Our favorite pastime pandemic or not, is engaging in active games and sports! All sports are most definitely not pandemic safe (such as basketball), however distance sports are great to engage in. Like we mentioned above, kicking a soccer ball around or throwing a football around are fairly low risk games to engage in. Tennis, golf and biking are also a great distance-friendly activities.
We hope some of these suggestions have you pumped and ready for a fun-fueled summer! Remember, if at any point you feel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, self-quarantine and get tested as soon as you can. We wish you good health and safe fun!
Have any other suggestions we haven’t listed above? Message us here and let us know so we can add it to the list!