The class of 2021 will be graduating before you know it, and that means it’s time to consider your graduation party. However, we’re still stuck in a global pandemic. While the end appears to be in sight, as case numbers are generally down and vaccines are starting to roll out, the reality is that it’s still not business as usual. You have to consider the safety of your guests and yourself when planning your celebration, so here are just a few things to keep in mind so you can have a fun and safe graduation party. You don’t want to kick off your adult life by giving your family Covid, do you?
If you’ve gotten accustomed to being the gregarious life of the party, this might be a problem for you. How do you decide who makes the cut for your guest list, and how do you decide what the right occupancy is for your party? How could you possibly omit that one guy that held your feet while you did a keg stand that one time?
The reality is, you have to be choosey about those that can attend. Different areas of the country have different restrictions on occupancy, so you’ll need to do a little research for what’s best. You can still get fined for holding gatherings that disobey local restrictions, so make sure you stay up to date.
If there are certain virally problematic people in your life, such as anti-maskers, you may want to consider leaving them off the guest list as well. You don’t want such callous, reckless people at your gathering, as they’re more likely to spread it than the average person, and you don’t want to have a problem if you ask them to wear a mask and they start yelling about America or something. If you are that person who doesn’t care about wearing masks, then this probably wasn’t meant for you anyway.
This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the safety of your guests. Tight, enclosed spaces make transmission of Covid significantly more likely. Don’t let people inside your house, if you have one. Instead, try to plan your party in a large, open area. Reserve a nice spot in a park, rent a few tents, and enjoy the great outdoors.
We’re getting incredibly specific here, but this is important as well. No punch bowls or anything like that. Besides the ever-looming possibility that someone could spike it, something like that can be a hotbed for germs.
Make sure you serve bottles of water and whatever else your guests may like. Cans of soda and beer are a likely necessity as well. It’ll mean more cleanup, but it’s best that everybody keeps their hands and drinks to themselves. You can even make custom water bottle labels if you want to give the drinks that personal touch.
Speaking of personal touch, having custom masks made for your guests is a fun way to commemorate your pandemic graduation party, and it is also a not-so-subtle hint to your guests that they should still be wearing a mask.
It would be a terribly awkward conversation to demand that every single person in attendance wear a mask, but that’s simply the safest option. Even once the pandemic has truly begun to die down, mask-wearing is a practice that is likely to continue in some capacity. If you remove masks from their association with the pandemic, they’re pretty cool, right? Make masks fun again, and make your party safe again.
Theme parties are great means of expression for the host as well as great conversation starters for the guests, for better or for worse. Whatever your chosen theme is, from Baseball to “Star Wars” to “The Great Gatsby,” commit to it.
Find as many relevant decorations as possible, and maybe even implement a dress code for your graduation party. It’ll make the theme really come alive, as well as weed out some of the guests that didn’t actually want to go in the first place.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure it’s something you can pull off safely. For example, something like a county fair with a kissing booth might not be the best idea.
As we inch closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, people are getting more and more lax about safety protocols. It’s only natural to be sick of pandemic society and to just want to go back to the way things were. Even the most cautious people are more likely to slip up now than they were early on.
That’s why it’s critical for you, the host, to plan for this ahead of time. Arrange chairs at least six feet apart. Make sure that high-traffic areas, such as where the drinks and food are, are spread out as well. You can’t have complete control over how your guests behave, but if you keep everything at a nice distance, they should fall in line. It’s a shame that grocery stores have to put up signs everywhere, but that’s just the world we live in, it seems. Nobody minds their own space unless it’s made glaringly obvious.
This is less of a graduation party tip and more of a plea to anyone who might see this. Getting vaccinated as soon as you possibly can is one of the most important things a person can do for society right now. Forget the personal benefits, every person needs to do their part in ridding our communities of the virus that has ravaged so many lives.
If you really want to go all out, make vaccinations a requirement for entry. If that’s possible for you, it’ll make your graduation party exponentially safer. You’ll surely ruffle some feathers, but that’s still better than the alternative.
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