What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a backyard barbecue party? If you’re like most people, chances are you’re already imagining delectable chip-and-dip platters, a sumptuous rack of ribs, and bottles of chilled beer stored in a cooler.
Nothing screams summer louder than the aroma of charred meat and the company of your loved ones.
But if you’ve been following the latest news on the pandemic, you must be skeptical about the new delta variant. Originating in India, this particular novel coronavirus strain is extremely contagious, and can cause long-term health complications as well.’
Immunologists, virologists, and medical professionals are still studying the impact of the new variant on people who’ve been partially or fully vaccinated.
But that shouldn’t deprive you of the joy of a fun-filled summer BBQ party with your friends and family. A few smart preventive measures can help you plan a memorable gathering without compromising the safety of your guests.
In this blog, we’ve outlined useful tips to help you plan a socially distanced BBQ party during the pandemic. Let’s take a look.
Plan For the Weather
Whenever you’re organizing an outdoor gathering, it’s obvious that you’ll check the weather forecast first. It’s all the more crucial when you’re planning a BBQ party in the middle of a pandemic.
You don’t want to be the host who asks their guests to wear face masks on a sultry summer afternoon, do you? Nor would you want your guests to crowd your living room because of an unexpected thunderstorm.
The best way of avoiding such scenarios is to check the weather forecast for your neighborhood using a hyperlocal weather intelligence platform. For instance, if you’re living in Klahanie, make sure you check the forecast for Klahanie weather instead of checking generic updates for the entire state of Washington.
Choose a bright and sunny day when the temperature is going to be bearable. Check the humidity level to ensure that your guests aren’t profusely sweating in their face masks. Select a time of the day when the sun isn’t going to be directly overhead (preferably afternoon or evening).
Check the Vaccination Status
By now, you already know that you’ll have to stick to a small guest list to minimize the chances of contracting COVID-19. Also, it’s necessary to ask your guests about their vaccination status before you invite them to the party. If you haven’t received your first dose of the vaccine yet, make sure you get the jab before you start planning the party.
Share your vaccination experience with every guest and ask whether they’ve received their shot. Also, explain your reasons behind seeking such private information. Don’t forget to let them know about the vaccination status of other guests.
It might be a good idea to filter people who haven’t gotten their shot from your guest list. Don’t feel scared about being perceived as rude. The risk of coming across as impolite or inconsiderate is far smaller compared to that of jeopardizing the safety of your friends and family.
Take All Essential Supplies Outdoors
Ideally, you’d want your guests to stay in your backyard throughout the party, except when they need to go to the bathroom. It’s necessary because the novel coronavirus spreads more readily indoors and can even cause aerosol transmission.
If you want to prevent your guests from stepping indoors too often, you need to ensure that all essential supplies, such as food, beverages, utensils, cutlery, napkins, etc., are available in your backyard.
Also, make sure your cooking and grilling equipment is set up and ready. That way you won’t have to go inside your home to grab kitchen tools leaving your guests alone.
Create a Socially Distanced Seating Plan
The real joy of a BBQ party is sharing a platter of ribs, brisket, and grilled veggies with all your guests seated around a giant table or fire pit. But these aren’t ordinary circumstances. The best way to protect all your guests is to provide a dedicated table for each household.
Place adequate plates, cups, cutlery, and napkins on each table. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to ask your guests to bring their own utensils and cutlery. While you’re at it, you could also ask them to bring their favorite beverages, sides, and desserts.
It’ll prevent your guests from queueing up next to the cooler. Make sure you maintain a distance of at least six feet between adjacent tables.
Plan a Pandemic-Friendly Menu
The idea of collective eating and sharing of food isn’t practical during the pandemic, even if your guests are partially vaccinated. Instead, you should opt for pre-plated meals or single servings, such as hotdogs, hamburgers, and chicken steaks. Also, ask one member from each household to come to the serving station and collect their food.
If you’d like to stick to the old-school buffet style of serving food, make sure you assign the responsibility to one person. They should wear a mask and practice excellent hand hygiene as well.
Lastly, don’t forget to communicate party rules and guidelines with your guests. Install plenty of hand sanitizer stations and use signages to remind your guests to practice hand hygiene and social distancing. Don’t forget to spice up the fun with creative socially distanced games and personalized face masks.