Safe winter hangout ideas help teens come together during tough times

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Photo by Kwot Anwey

Gathering with a tiny group of masked friends at Huset Park while following the COVID-19 guidelines is an easy way to stay safe while getting social interaction.

During the pandemic, most people are not hanging out with their friends or family for safety reasons so as to not put their household or themselves at risk.

Most people say they feel lonely during the pandemic. Being alone without anybody who you like to spend your time with can be depressing, especially since it’s been a while since you’ve last seen your friends. This is why communicating with friends can help ease the loneliness one is feeling during this pandemic. 

When wanting to hangout with a friend in person make sure both of you quarantine for 7-14 days before hanging out. Try keeping it to one or two friends and socially distance to keep everyone safe. Remember to wear masks and avoid highly populated areas, along with washing or sanitizing your hands as much as possible to lower your chances of catching the virus. Additionally, you can meet up with a friend at a restaurant with a drive-thru if you both drive and park next to each other outside so you could eat together, while staying in your own vehicles to social distance.

After hanging out with a friend, quarantining yourself in your household is suggested so family members are not put at risk, especially since people are heading back to work in person and would not want to get other people outside of your household infected. If you think you have been exposed, be sure to get tested just in case, especially if you notice any symptoms such as fever or loss of taste or smell. Even if it does not end up being anything serious, it’s much better to be safe than to end up in the hospital.

“I try to hangout with only one friend,” Yolanda Chimborazo (12) said. “I don’t [want to] pass any germs to my family.”

When hanging out with people in person, try to be considerate and keep everyone safe. The virus can spread fast with just one infected person coming into contact with others, so take safety measures for your health and others.

Some people are more strict on taking safety measures since they may be at higher risk, such as elderly citizens and pregnant women, or they just don’t want to get the virus and choose to stay at home. There are also ways to communicate with friends and family and have fun without having to see them in person. Video chatting software like Zoom or Google Meet, where you can screen share and watch a free movie on YouTube as if it were a movie night, is a great example of one of these methods. You could also download Discord, which is an app where you can talk to friends or chat with them and play games with each other. There’s also the most common app for video calls, which is FaceTime for Apple device users. 

You can always get closer to your family members and have fun with them by playing board games or watching a movie as a family. If you have siblings, you can play multiplayer games with them since they’re most likely also having a hard time with this pandemic.

During the pandemic, it can be hard not seeing people who you enjoy talking to, but there’s ways to communicate with them without having to expose yourselves. You could also get to know your family better and spend time with them to catch up on things that has been going on in their life or stories that they never told before. If you choose to hangout with someone from outside your household in person, you have to be safe and stay socially distanced or else you’ll be putting yourself, and others you love, at risk.