Is There Any Safe Way To Socialize Inside This Year?

Socializing with people is going to get more difficult as it gets colder and outdoor gatherings get harder to pull-off comfortably. Experts have warned that indoor gatherings are prime places for COVID-19 to spread, but there might be ways to socialize indoors safely.

Dr. Beth Thielen, an infectious disease professor, says you should try to replicate outdoor conditions inside in order to make it safe. That includes picking a large space with open windows—you should also keep the group small and try to wear masks the whole time. In addition, you should keep your interactions fairly short, as if you are exposed to virus particles in the air, the length of time you’re exposed matters—the shorter the amount of time the better.

If you go out to eat in public, the experts say you should choose a place with limited capacity, and avoid places that feel hot and stuffy or don’t have many windows. It’s also best to go somewhere where people are seated at tables, as opposed to milling around. Finally, when it comes to the holidays this year, it’s important to remember that small, masked gatherings are safest, and if you have to travel you should get tested for COVID-19 pre- and post-trip, and you should have about a week of isolation after getting off the plane or train.