Grab a Canned Cocktail: Large Events & Gatherings are Happening Again in ‘Merica
As coronavirus clears the air, ‘Mericans begin to gather again in groups at sporting events, concerts, festivals, conferences, parades, and weddings. While the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that large events and gatherings should be avoided, particularly those in which physical – social – distancing cannot be maintained between unrelated people from different households, it is “essential” to follow careful guidance to help prevent the never-ending spread of COVID-19, but also enjoy life simultaneously.
Do not mistake us as party poopers… We are here to promote mindful behaviors and maintain healthy (drinking) environments to reduce risk when large events and gatherings are held. Because the faster we take public safety measures, the faster we clink cans with strangers inside a bar. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has said that by the end of 2021, the U.S. could “approach some level of normality.”
Here are some other things to consider – per the CDC – outside of the usual cautions of “wear a mask or face covering” and “stay at least six-feet away.”
Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces
Keep away from enclosed spaces that lack fresh air. Look for seating options that are outside or have proper ventilation with outdoor air like tents and barns that have open doors or rolled up sides.
Wash your hands thoroughly
Kind of a no brainer at this point, but wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and before eating or drinking. No sink in sight? Use a hand sanitizer or hand wipe that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Get vaccinated when it is available to you
Authorized COVID-19 vaccines* can help protect you from the virus. Once you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that had stopped you from doing so, due to the pandemic.
All in all, we suggest attending safer large gatherings, that is if you do congregate with people who do not live with you – perhaps an outdoor (or drive-in) concert and sporting event where masked attendees are staying six-feet apart, and where touch-less payment methods and ticketing apps are in use.
As for food and drink safety measures, stick to outdoor dining and drinking; maybe pack your own single-use food items and canned drinks like ‘Merican Mule craft cocktail cans, plus disposable plate-ware, utensils and condiment packets if doable. Say no to self-serve salad bars and buffet style services. Wear a mask or face covering at all times (to and from the bathroom, bar, etc.) except when you are actively eating or drinking.
If indoor dining and drinking is your only option at certain events, minimize the time you spend in the restaurant, bar, or concession area – the longer you stay, the more you increase your risk of COVID-19. Just take the beer (or cocktail) can or cup to-go.
*Note for all “vaxed” people: just because you receive an authorized vaccine does not mean you do not have to protect yourself – continue to follow guidance.
Based in NYC, Alana Tielmann is an expert writer and brand educator of wine and spirits. Her words live in Chilled Magazine, Thirsty Media, Tales of the Cocktail, and elsewhere. She also makes an annual appearance in Forbes, as well as impressive whiskey cocktails at home. Follow along @alanatielmann.