With Valentine’s Day just on Sunday, some couples may feel conflicted with their plans for the special day, especially since the pandemic is still an issue across the country.
To help ease some of this confusion, the CDC has released a list of holiday tips so you and your loved one can spend the day together in a safe manner.
First and foremost, the CDC said the safest way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is gathering virtually or with people who live with you. Staying home and making Valentine’s cards together is one way for families to do this. You can then have someone in the household drop off the cards to your loved ones, if they’re close by, mail them if your loved ones are far away, or send them online yourself.
The other tips on the list include taking a walk with your Valentine, celebrating with your special someone virtually, preparing a special meal or dessert, or planning a special movie or game night.
It’s alright to have a picnic outside, the CDC said, but just make sure you have your masks on most of the time, and that you’re socially distanced from others who may be enjoying a picnic themselves in the same area.
Remember that if you plan to celebrate with people who don’t live with you, outdoors is safer than indoors, according to the CDC.
Indoors, you should avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. These places don’t usually offer fresh air from the outdoors. If indoors, you can bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. Using a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out is recommended. This will also pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
If you really must host a Valentine’s event where you’re expecting guests, the CDC lists some of the things you should bear in mind: if you’re sick or you have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19, cancel the gathering.
During the event, if it does push through, provide single-use options such as salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable plates, cups and utensils. Limit the number of guests to your event, and prepare extra unused masks for your guests. Even before you start, remind everyone to wear their masks inside and outside.
Remember also to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use. You may have to have your cleaning gloves ready at all times, because the CDC recommends cleaning dirty surfaces with soap and water first, then using disinfectant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of disinfectants that are recommended for coronavirus. You can check out the list here.
Because you’re celebrating, there will be food and drinks in the house or in your yard, so make sure your cleaning tools and your disinfectant do not mix with the food.
In any case, hosting a virtual gathering with friends and family is always the better option. You can also walk or drive or around your community to wave to neighbors and greet them from a safe distance. If you’re taking food, your Valentine’s cards, or gifts to family, friends, and neighbors, do it in a way that doesn’t involve contact, such as leaving them at the door.
They’ll understand that these are unusual times, and that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For more of the CDC’s tips for celebrating, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html.