BBQ Season with a Difference
17 Jul 2020 | Anne Marie Fogarty
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So, you have got the steaks, burgers, and salads ready to dine. The BBQ is fired up. The drinks are sizzling with fizz that has been on hold for ten long weeks. Now we can invite people (up to six in total) over and socialise in the ‘new normal’. However, what will the ‘new’ way we socialise be like?
Before COVID-19, BBQ invitations required very little if any consideration- we simply asked our pals to come over for the evening. Now, however, Dr Xand van Tulleken 1 explains in his recent interview with the BBC News that we now need to think about a novel approach to socialising this summer.
Think about who you are inviting-is there a risk?
Dr Xand van Tulleken suggests that inviting an overweight older male, for example, will present different risks for them than asking a young fit family. Likewise inviting a friend or relative over 70 years old presents a risk for them so maybe considering that is important also.
Think about who you are asking over, is there a risk or potential for their wellbeing? Is there a risk for you? Have they had COVID-19 themselves?
Make simple changes to reduce the risks.
- Of course, the event will be outdoors, think about if the guests can access the garden directly, or do they need to walk through the house?
- If they do need to go inside to get to the garden, advise them not to touch anything.
- If the guests require the bathroom during the event, provide hand hygiene facilities and clean surfaces after their use.
- Provide hygienic wipes for guests to sanitise the toilet after them. Sometimes a reminder such as a little sign saying wash your hands, seat down, wipe after use, can act as a visual probe for people.
- Often, we place the most beautiful towels with a designer label out for our guests, but now is the time for paper towels or at least a separate hand towel for each person.
- Maintain a safe two-metre social distance.
- Disposable cutlery is best if you are having guests from other households, or at least no sharing, and wash them later at high temperature.
- Provide little designated areas for hand sanitisers. This will save guests having to go into your home to wash hands too frequently.
- Keep it short – time limit is an essential factor in transmission. The less time in contact, the less chance of transmission.
- Limit the booze – hopefully, soon we can all relax with a few beverages in the sun, but for the moment limit the alcohol at these events. This is because alcohol is known to affect our inhibitions and can make us forget social distance measurements, hand hygiene, and endanger us in these uncertain and challenging times.
With summer here, and long warm evenings ahead, BBQs might be more popular than ever as the new ‘Saturday night out’ might just be in the back garden! So, as we head out to our gardens or decks, let’s remember to enjoy the new normal but stay safe- stay alert!