It’s hard to believe we are in the month of June, that warmer weather for most of us is finally here and that we can count on sunshine to brighten most days. What we don’t know for sure is whether June means it’s also time for cautious optimism. Regardless of age, 50+ or otherwise, we are truly living through an unprecedented time that none of us have ever experienced before. We’ve all had to learn new skills, adapt to a new type of living and to make some fairly significant accommodations around spending time with loved ones. It’s been challenging but now, with the arrival of summer close at hand, we wonder – is it time for cautious optimism?

If you’re reading this blog from just about anywhere in North America, no doubt your State or Province has recently announced some form of lifting of the restrictions related to COVID-19. Does this mean we are finally free to do as we please? Probably not! What we have learned about any kind of return to “normalcy” is that it will be a “new normal” for many of us, with safety guidelines and restrictions in place to help protect both ourselves and those around us. That’s ok.

Chances are you’ll agree that none of us want to see a loved one fall ill and so most of us are willingly embracing the “new normal” for the greater good of all. That said, we’ve seen some pretty creative ideas around how to maintain social distancing, still get together with loved ones and on how to enjoy life albeit in a different way. We’d love to share some of these tips and tools we’ve seen and invite you to reach out with your great ideas and suggestions for staying safe while enjoying the summer weather.

Need a Hug?

  1. Have you seen this idea? Are you in an area still experiencing social distancing but want to hug your grandchildren? We’ve seen grandparents going the extra mile, suiting up like an astronaut and with gloves, masks and goggles, all so they can hug the grandkids in the backyard. We totally get it and if it doesn’t scare the little ones and you’re not using PPE meant for health care workers we suggest you go for it!
  2. Another innovative technique we spotted on the web recently involved a shower curtain. Yup – a shower curtain! Hung on a clothesline, with a place for your arms to poke through, it allows for a “contactless” hug with almost all the benefits of a full bear hug! I think we could all use a little hug right now, don’t you? Maybe this method will work for you and your family?

Time to Venture Outdoors?

  1. Here again, many locations are making changes to allow for folks to get out and go for a walk with neighbors, friends or family. Some cities are even closing down some streets to vehicle traffic to allow for increased distance between pedestrians and to accommodate the increase in people out enjoying a walk.
  2. We’ve seen neighborhoods where early risers are walking “together” on opposite sides of the street, able to have a conversation and keep one another company while staying safely apart.
  3. As always, if you are venturing out with a friend we recommend you follow the guidelines of the chief medical officer of health in your area but a mask is never a bad idea. It helps protect you and those around you.

Want to host a few friends?

In some areas, restrictions are lifted to the point where you might even be able to have a few friends or family members over. If so, that’s great but we want our Amintro family to stay safe while doing so. Here are a few tips on how to host a party in our “new normal” world:

  1. Keep your gathering small.
  2. Ask guests to bring a mask/wear a mask if it will be hard for you to maintain distance.
  3. Consider hosting your event outdoors on a patio, deck or balcony.
  4. Disposable dishware is ok! I know many of us have embraced recycling and minimizing our impact on the environment but sometimes “rules were made to be broken.” Contactless dishware that can be disposed of not only helps protect you but it makes clean up a breeze!
  5. Stock up on a cleaning product you’re familiar with and some sanitizer and if guests are using the bathroom, give it a wipe down between each use. It will help you and your guests to feel more comfortable.
  6. Minimize the foot traffic in your home or apartment by grilling outdoors or using a food delivery service if budget allows. These are exceptional times so exceptions apply! Now might not be the right occasion to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or asking for help. Bake a tasty treat ahead of time for dessert but keep the fuss around fancy lunches or dinners to a minimum.
  7. In some cities, we’ve even seen the implementation of social distancing circles. These are designated areas in communal parks that clearly mark out an area for a small group of friends or family to gather and have a picnic while maintaining a safe distance from other like-minded folks. Make your gathering a picnic and meet in a central location and entertaining becomes a breeze! Everyone brings their own food and utensils and there’s no mess at home!

We’re certain you have some great ideas and suggestions too. We hope you’ll agree that while taking all necessary precautions, getting outdoors and spending time with family and friends is good for our mental health and well-being. If you’ve been spending a lot of time online over the last several months, using a service like Amintro to make new friends, that’s great. Now might just be the perfect time to finally meet those friends “face to face,” from a safe distance. We’re cautiously optimistic!

By Sheralyn Roman