Welcome to the dog days of summer. In years past, we could distract ourselves from the often-oppressive humidity with camps, sporting events, after-work cocktails and family vacations. But with COVID-19 cases on the rise, our typically hectic social schedules are now just the opposite. 

Never fear. The certified health and safety experts at CTEH, a North Little Rock-based scientific consulting firm, are sharing three tips to ensure we can enjoy all summer has to offer while helping keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

 

1. Lower the intensity.

If you’re planning to gather with others, consider how close and how long your contact will be. Skip high-risk situations like indoor, crowded spaces and opt for hiking, biking or kayaking in the great outdoors instead. If you need a respite from the scorching temperatures, pack your mask and choose locations where you can abide by the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

 

2. Find your team.

Many of us are feeling quarantine fatigue. But we must continue to be vigilant about our safety. As the CDC noted, “The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.” Savor this extra bonding time with your family by minimizing interactions with those outside of your household and embracing virtual get-togethers. Zoom happy hour, anyone?

 

3. Lessen your risk.

Considering braving dinner out or scheduling a visit to the zoo? Reduce your risk by avoiding close contact with others or moving interactions to open outdoor spaces like Arkansas’ less-traveled natural-surface trails. If social distancing isn’t possible, wear CDC-recommended cloth face coverings, particularly around those who are older or immunocompromised. And, as always, wash your hands!

 

2020 isn’t what we expected. But instead of fretting over what could have been, we should relish this temporary break from our normally jam-packed days. With a little help, we can safely soak up what’s left of summer. For more COVID-19-related tips, check out the CTEH website