So far we’ve navigated pretty much every holiday during the pandemic, and it’s completely changed the way we celebrate these milestones. We’ve had to make adjustments to who we can physically be around and how we connect with loved ones during these important events, all in the name of getting things back to normal one day.
But one major American celebration has yet to be tackled with these new parameters in place, and it’s coming up this weekend – the Super Bowl.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the Super Bowl poses as much risk as Christmas or Thanksgiving when it comes to the potential spreading of the virus.
But for millions of Americans, watching the year’s biggest game with no fanfare to speak of seems, well, unspeakable.
So if you’re the type of person who either hosts or attends a Super Bowl party every year – or who usually catches the game at your local watering hole – we’ve got some tips to celebrate safely this year without giving up all of your traditions.
Host a Virtual Watch Party
There are plenty of options to watch the game from the safety and comfort of your own home while also celebrating with your nearest and dearest. We’re all well-versed in video conferencing apps by now, and it’s a snap to set up a group hang out over the internet.
To make things even more interesting, come up with a group cocktail for everyone to make at their own place, play a game of Commercial Bingo together with these fun printouts from Etsy, or even set up your own karaoke halftime show if The Weeknd isn’t your thing.
According to the CDC, the World Health Organization, and a plethora of other healthcare experts, the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is though social distancing.
This means the best thing you can do is celebrate separately. If you absolutely must have people over, however, keep the crowds small and separate.
The best way to do this is to celebrate outdoors. If you’ve got a garage with enough outlets, setting up your TV and possibly some speakers out there is a no-brainer. Keep the attendees small, and encourage them to dress warmly. And provide heat sources in the form of propane heaters, fire pits, and obviously, a grill.
Focus on the Food
I mean, that’s what it’s all about anyway, right? If you’re celebrating virtually, have a Zoom-hosted cookoff. The most ‘Gram-worthy dish wins.
If you’re celebrating with friends (safely) outdoors, you’ll need to take some extra precautions with the food. Avoid any situation where people will be grabbing from the same platters or bowls, or sharing utensils. (And you thought double-dipping was a faux pas before the pandemic!)
Individual bags of chips and individual servings of dips like guac, queso, or hummus are a great idea. As are individually wrapped plasticware and napkin sets.
And don’t forget to provide plenty of hand sanitizer.
Lastly, consider ordering in from your favorite restaurant – especially a place you normally would have watched the game. You’ll still get all your favorites, and you’ll support a local business that could desperately use it in such rough times.
So there we have it. We may be socially distanced from each other, but that’s no reason to skip celebrating America’s favorite sports night. Just take the extra precautions this year so next year we can all do it up big for the Super Bowl.
Or, you know, the Puppy Bowl.