Going Maskless: Comfortable Ways to Start Socializing Again

With the CDC and certain states allowing for safe gatherings of vaccinated individuals, people are excited to get out and see their loved ones and friends again. Along with this buzzing sense of energy to be out and have fun is a little bit of underlying anxiety for many of us. While we want to get out and spend time, the idea of going maskless can still be a little intimidating. It is totally understandable after a full year of getting used to it as part of our routines! We have come up with a list of ways you can hang out with your friends in a way that feels natural and comfortable as we transition slowly back into more normal social outings.

Picnics and Parks

One of the most comfortable ways to hang out as we adapt to maskless socializing is to do so outside. This feels much more natural to many of us as many states didn’t mandate outdoor masking when not in close proximity to others. One suggestion is that you can plan a potluck-style picnic where everyone brings fun treats to share. Alternatively, just a nice long walk through a park while catching up can be extremely relaxing and fun!

Takeout or Delivery at Home

Looking to do something a little more personal? If your friends are vaccinated and comfortable, you can invite them over to your home and do delivery or takeout. This can take away the stress of reserving a table at a busy restaurant. You can set up a fun hangout plan like a movie or board game night while enjoying professionally cooked food with friends. If you are more interested in going out, many restaurants are still keeping social distancing and indoor masking in effect. This will keep you and your pod comfortable while eating at your favorite locations!

Check Out Local Events

Once you have a group that you are comfortable going out with, it is time to check out local events! There are many safe and exciting events you can attend, and more are bound to appear as things open up. For example, this summer there is the “Behold, Be Held” exhibition at The Block Museum’s first-ever outdoor showing that celebrates human intimacy, touch, and self-care in Chicago. Many craft markets and farmers’ markets are starting to open up, providing comfortable and exciting shopping opportunities with friends. Look around in your area to see what may be popping up there!

Regardless of what you and your group chooses to do, make sure to consider everyone’s different levels of comfort. It will take some people longer than others to acclimate back to normal. Make sure to create space for them to transition at their own pace! They will appreciate the support and care.

Stay safe as you start to socialize again! To stay updated on the latest and most accurate information related to COVID-19, please refer to https://www.cdc.gov/

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