Let’s start with defining what a party really is. According to the dictionary, a party is a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment, etc. In reality, many high school and college parties have guests who are uninvited. Guests who they aren’t close with and may not be taking the pandemic seriously.
The more people at the party, the higher risk there is of COVID-19 being spread. According to CDC, the highest risk events are large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area. At many parties, there are people without masks and lots of cross-contamination. It is difficult for everyone to stay six feet apart and if there are people from other schools attending then they’re outside the local area.
There are students at Shawnee Heights who have lost a loved one from COVID-19 and we should keep them in consideration when debating whether or not we go to a party. The risk that we put peers, family members, coworkers, random civilians at the store, etc. in for thinking that a fun time is worth more than potentially killing someone.
These memories can be made at any time and during a pandemic is not an appropriate time to make them. Imagine the weight that killing someone will leave on you if you get someone sick for thinking that you are bigger than the virus. You are not bigger than the virus and neither are your friends.
As a high school student myself, I know how difficult it is to convince them that partying isn’t worth the risks that come with it. Although the cons outweigh the pros, many will continue to be selfish and think that they’re invincible. Here are some tips on how to have a party while being safe.
The safest way to throw a party with the lowest amount of risk is virtual. A virtual party is a great way to make memories with your friends and family without being in close contact. There are many ways to have fun while being virtual like playing charades, having a movie night, starting a book club, doing a trivia night, etc.
If you still believe that throwing a party won’t result in further spreading of COVID-19 then throw it safely. There are many ways to do this like wearing a mask, social distancing, preventing cross-contamination, sanitizing often, and keeping the amount of guests to a minimum.
Masks are worn to further prevent the virus from getting spread. It helps prevent the spread of the disease from those who have the virus without knowing. CDC recommends that people wear cloth masks in public in order to save the surgical and N95 masks for health care workers.
Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. People should remain six feet apart when possible and should not touch people outside of their household.
Cross-contamination is the transfer of bacteria or other microorganisms from one substance to another. To help prevent cross-contamination at an in-person party, the cups should be labeled and food can be prepared in little baggies.
It is also important to sanitize throughout the party by having guests wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Tables should be wiped down after a person is done using them in order to allow another person to use them safely. Chairs should also be wiped down so other people can sit without spreading germs. Having hand sanitizer bottles throughout the room or the house will also help decrease the amount of germs being spread.
Keeping the amount of guests to a minimum will help with social distancing as well as cross-contamination. Only allow people that you personally know inside the doors and that you know are treating the pandemic seriously. It only takes one person to spread the virus and infect others.
Before you throw or attend a party, you need to think to yourself if the party is worth the amount of risk it comes with. In my opinion, the answer is no.