Coronavirus

Consumers Add Masks, Virus Tests To Social Gatherings

As U.S. governors ease the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, Jay Prasad and his roommate, Dennis Yun, recently hosted a Memorial Day barbecue in their Los Angeles backyard, CNBC reported.

But before guests could enter, Yun, a physician, administered a COVID-19 test and required them to wait 10 minutes for the results.

But a negative test alone didn’t get friends a free pass. Prasad and Yun used a forehead thermometer to check if any guests had a fever.

Luckily, no one tested positive for the virus and none of the guests had a fever. If they had, Prasad said, he and his roommates were prepared to turn them away, the network reported.

“That’s just the smart thing to do, and I don’t think we know anybody who would’ve objected to it,” Prasad said.

After passing those two tests, guests were handed a mask, even though it was an outdoor event. If guests entered the house, say to use the bathroom, they had to wear it.

“We got some sense of return to normalcy,” Prasad told CNBC. “At least this was a path toward how that might happen.”

By now, most people know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends social distancing by at least six feet, donning a mask and keeping disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers handy for anyone who goes outside.

Robin Abrahams, better known as Miss Conduct, has some simple advice. If you’ve never had to defend your personal space, now is the time to learn, she wrote, and quickly.

“If someone still goes in for that handshake or hug, it’s perfectly reasonable to step back and say ‘Sorry, I’m following coronavirus protocol. I’m sure you understand.’ It won’t make it less awkward, but it makes your boundaries clear, and keeps you safe.”

Celebrity Event Planner Colin Cowie of Colin Cowie Lifestyle told PYMNTS last week that while many of the things we do can be shifted online, social events are a different story.

Much of what is loved about the physical experience can’t be recreated online such as eating, drinking, dancing and hugging, like at social gatherings and weddings.

Cowie said people will return to traditional weddings by next year, but they may be smaller and more controlled and include mandatory testing for guests.

In The Great Reopening: Shifting Preferences, PYMNTS revealed while it has been 11 weeks since California became the first U.S. state to declare a lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, by late May, 36 percent of Americans have warmed to the idea of resuming their pre-pandemic routines. But that still leaves 64 percent who are choosing to stay inside.

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