As pandemic mandates, guidelines and restrictions are ebbing and flowing, it can be challenging or difficult to ascertain social decisions to be in close proximity with those near and dear to you.
Top of mind is that the pandemic has been and is, a first for all of us; so let’s continue to work together. As it’s fading and invitations/plans for in-person social gatherings are rising, most likely the questions of mask wearing, social distance measures and vaccination status are the elephants in the room.
What to do and how do we do that respectfully, while maintaining our own truth? My thoughts:
– If you’ve been vaccinated and are not ready to go mask-less quite yet, that is perfectly fine and others should be respectful of your feelings and decisions.
– The same goes for if you’re vaccinated but not ready to shake hands, hug or closely greet others, or be in close proximity with others. There is no need to justify your views.
– Conversely, if you’re not vaccinated please be mindful of others’ comfort levels and take into consideration their personal situations (such as underlying health issues, taking care of their elders or very young children, and other possible continued risks of exposure). We’re just coming out of the pandemic and there are still many unknowns.
– If you’ve been invited to an event and are vaccinated but not comfortable attending if others are not, it’s perfectly okay to say “Thank you, but no thank you,” then, “I’m not ready yet,” or “I have health issues and want to wait a little longer before socializing,” or “It doesn’t work for me/I’m not comfortable at this time, and am looking forward to getting together very soon.”
– If you’re contemplating hosting a social event or small get-together, you probably know the attendees well, and have personally talked about vaccinations, masks and social distancing comfort levels with each other. Take into consideration your guest list/small group, especially if it will be a mix of people who are/are not vaccinated. Perhaps you could hold off on hosting/seeing each other for a bit longer.
– If not, consider hosting/meeting outdoors or in a large well-ventilated space, and socially distancing the tables into comfort/familiarity pods. Ask your guests in advance if they’d be comfortable wearing their masks initially as they enter, to be mindful and polite to those who’ve been vaccinated/are not vaccinated, and to keep in mind others’ health and safety concerns.
As we’re easing out of the pandemic and back into society, let’s all do our part to continue to practice polite pandemic/post pandemic mindfulness!