A guide to winter socialising during a pandemic

This winter is going to be a difficult one for a lot of us. As yet we don’t know how/if pubs will be able to trade – but one thing we know for certain is that it is safer to socialise outdoors  A Japanese study has found that it can be up to 20 times more likely to catch coronavirus indoors than outdoors, and scientists advise that ventilation is key if you are indoors. So this winter we are all going to have to learn a new way of socialising, and we’ve got some top tips and advice on how to stay comfortable as well as safe:

Warm Clothing

Invest in some thermals & make sure you have a nice warm waterproof coat. Tights under trousers is a great way to keep warm, and knitted wrist warmers are surprisingly helpful. Layering up is the best way to stay warm, especially slightly loose layers as they trap a layer of warm air between each garment, keeping you extra toasty!

Go undercover

If you have a frame tent or awning this could be a great, well ventilated space to socialise with friends and family. Make sure it has enough room for your group though – even in well ventilated spaces it is recommended we sit at least 1m away from those not in our household. If it’s safe to do so, you could run a cable and add an electric heater to your outdoor space.

Fire it up

On dry days/evenings, you could use a fire pit to keep warm. If you don’t have a fire pit or BBQ suitable, you could invest in one of these portable ones for less than £20. Here’s a photo of mine from when I visited my mum. We shared a takeaway and spent an evening together outside her house safely.

Pick your moment

Check the weather – cloudy evenings may look a bit daunting but can often be warmer than clear skies. This is especially true once the wind has dropped. At the coldest time of year, it might be better to socialise during the daytime rather than in the evenings.

Bring your own..

To be as safe as possible, take your own eating & drinking vessels to friends’ houses, and avoid touching each others’ items. If, like me, you suffer from bad circulation you could make or buy a cup-cozie like this one. This will make drinks easier & more comfortable to hold – especially if you’re wearing gloves.

Also plastic-backed mats like this one can be a really useful way to stay dry and warm

Santise

Always carry a little pot of hand gel with you. This way you can protect yourself and others if you need to handle each others’ things or if you need to pop indoors to use the loo.

Socialising has been difficult for some months in the wake of social distancing measures and lockdowns. I do think it is going to remain so for the next few months. Spending time with people is a really important way to to boost your own wellbeing & support your friends through difficult times so let’s not let the colder weather put us off!