The Fourth of July weekend always brings its fair share of safety issues with it and we security professionals always have plenty of advice to help keep you safe during these summer holidays.
For example: if you’re going to light fireworks, use them as directed, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you’re having a picnic, monitor your food in the heat — you risk food poisoning. Don’t fire guns in the air to celebrate; you never know where the bullets may come down. And of course, don’t drink and drive.
This coming Fourth of July, however, is a little different, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Don’t stop at the door: Keep your employees safe outside of work
How do you celebrate a holiday during a pandemic?
Earlier this year, there was some hope that the Covid-19 virus would burn itself out during the summer months — influenza infections and the common cold are more rare in summer than in winter, after all. But as time wears on and we see increasing infections in some states, it appears that Covid-19 will remain a problem despite the hot weather.
There are often two fronts to a pandemic. There’s the end of the disease itself, and there’s the social end of the pandemic, when people stop taking as many precautions. Covid-19 may still be with us, but states are gradually opening up and more people are feeling comfortable leaving their homes and getting together. On Memorial Day, we saw a range of differently-distanced get-togethers, from giant pool parties to social distanced gatherings. Officials in some states, including Alabama, Texas, and California, tied those gatherings to Covid spikes.
So how can you celebrate the Fourth safely this year?
Tips for observing the Fourth safely during Covid-19
Although Covid-19 has We know very little about the disease, so it’s best to follow a few common sense rules and the recommendations of medical experts:
- Remember, asymptomatic carriers are a risk: Not everyone is healthy, even if they look fine. You may be a carrier yourself. While this can be an overwhelming thought, it’s a necessary one when planning a social outing.
- Keep gatherings small: Maintaining social distance has been key to keeping people safe at outdoor gatherings. If too many people are in a space, it will be hard to keep distance. Also, the more attendees, the more likely you’ll be to have a carrier at your event.
- Wash your hands: Handwashing has been crucial to stopping the spread of the disease. Remember at least 20 seconds with soap. If you’re hosting a gathering, offer handwashing stations or sanitizer.
- Be careful about sharing food: The Fourth of July is often a party with finger food and there isn’t always a lot of handwashing happening. Guard against double dipping by either avoiding dips or by putting food directly onto individual plates so guests don’t serve themselves.
- Wear a mask: In Japan and other Asian countries that remember the threat of SARS 15 years ago, mask-wearing dramatically decreased COVID transmission rates. Here, we’ve never had a tradition of mask-wearing and now some people are resisting masks. Masks can protect the vulnerable population and others. If you’re going out on the Fourth of the July, wear a mask when necessary. Otherwise, you run the risk of catching — or worse — spreading a deadly disease.
It’s not a bad thing to celebrate. But when there’s a dangerous, easily transmissible disease in our communities, it’s important to celebrate responsibly and even more safely than usual.
Want more important security information and news delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our blog.