How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Safely Amid the COVD-19 Pandemic, According to the CDC
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and if you're like millions of Americans, you're probably thinking about how to make the holiday feel special amid the coronavirus pandemic. In previous years, nearly one-quarter of Americans would dine out at a restaurant on Valentine's Day but with the ever-changing government regulations around indoor dining in each state, ordering takeout or cooking something from scratch may be a more viable option. "The safest way to celebrate Valentine's Day is gathering virtually or with people who live with you," says the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
In lieu of traditional celebrations, the CDC suggests making Valentine cards or decorations and dropping them off to loved ones. Experts say that while it may not be safe to hug or kiss loved ones who you do not live with, you can exchange something comforting, such as a large teddy bear or cozy blanket, both of which offer safe, physical comfort. While schoolchildren may normally exchange Valentine's Day cards and candy in the classroom, the CDC recommends that families mail any holiday treats to classmates instead of distributing them in person. Studies have shown that there is a low chance of transmitting the virus through parcels.
If you're not in a quarantine bubble with your Valentine—or are meeting someone special for the first time—take a socially distanced walk outdoors or host a virtual date night instead of gathering indoors. People can increase their risk of contracting coronavirus by "having an indoor dinner party with their friends who are not a part of their household or going to an indoor restaurant that's crowded," Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, told CNN.
If you live in a warmer climate, consider setting up an outdoor picnic complete with cheese, sweet bites, and a bottle of wine to celebrate Valentine's Day safely with your loved ones. And as always, you should always wear a face mask that covers both your nose and mouth, especially if you are unable to maintain social distance from those who are outside of your quarantine bubble.