The Mandatory Guide to a Socially Distanced Summer
Summer is coming, but it won’t be like anything you’ve ever experienced before. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, experts are urging Americans to maintain social distancing guidelines all season long. But just because you’re going to be 6 feet apart from everyone else (if not a complete loner) doesn’t mean you have to let social distancing ruin your fun. There are still ways to enjoy all the sun, surf, fresh air, and food you normally do without putting yourself at risk for infection. This is the Mandatory guide to a socially distanced summer. We’ll get through this together, separately.
Cover Photo: pixdeluxe (Getty Images)
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Face masks will be the new swimsuit accessory.
You'll need more than a Speedo to enjoy a dip in the water this summer. Expect face masks to be an essential accessory to swimwear. If you think this is bad news, you clearly haven't heard about the newly invented trikini yet.
Find a secret swimming hole.
Even if water parks, public pools, and beaches are open this summer, you'd be wise to stay away. (Do you know how many bodily fluids end up in that water?) This will be the summer of the secret swimming hole, someplace only you go to enjoy the surf and sand without risking coronavirus contagion. The first rule of the secret swimming hole, however, is don't tell anyone else where yours is!
Camping will be the go-to form of travel.
It's hard to socially distance while traveling, but if you have a vehicle and a tent, you can pull off an entire vacation without interacting with another soul. How? Camping, of course. As long as you can find somewhere secluded to pitch your tent, don't mind going to the bathroom in the great outdoors, and can tolerate canned food for days on end, you're all set. No human interaction necessary.
Canoe and kayaks will make a comeback.
Boating is one of the most popular ways to socialize during summer, but gone are the carefree days of yachts, speed boats, and other big forms of watercraft. That doesn't mean you have to stay off the water, though; just pick up a canoe or kayak, and you have a one-person vessel that can take you on all the watery adventures your heart desires (and your arm muscles can handle).
Solo sports will rule.
When the weather's warm, we all want to get outside. This summer, however, solo sports will be the name of the game. Whether that means biking, speed walking, hiking, running, or batting a tennis ball against a brick wall, you might have to go it alone when you head outdoors this summer. Try hitting the trails in the early mornings for maximum isolation.
Farmers markets will be the new hot spot.
Most cities will have operational farmers markets even if restaurants and bars remain closed. This will be where all the young people will be congregating on weekend mornings; grab a coffee and a canvas bag and start perusing the food -- and the people. Just don't squeeze without consent.
Picnics will be the new eating out.
As much as we want to support our favorite restaurants, we know that reopening is going to be a bitch. Dining out as we know has changed forever, and many of us will opt to skip the circus and have a picnic instead. Eating outdoors allows for instant social distancing (just bring the biggest blanket you have) and eliminates potential contagion from servers and other customers. The best part? No need to tip. We predict a record number of picnics this summer. What will you eat at yours?
Start a one-man band.
Music festivals are canceled. Most concert venues will be closed. If you want to hear live music this summer, it's up to you to make it happen. There's no better time than the present to start a one-man band. You won't make any money and you won't become famous, but you'll have a blast doing it.
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