The past few months have reshaped our social interactions in more ways than one. As we head into fall and the weather gets cooler, it may no longer be as feasible to spend time socializing outdoors.
That said, making the jump from virtual chats to in-person hangs can feel strange and be challenging to navigate — especially if you live in a condo or apartment in Vancouver. If you’re feeling eager to see your loved ones in the flesh but are scratching your head as to how to do so safely in a small space, we’ve got you covered.
Stick to small and consistent
As restrictions around social distancing ease up, you can begin to gradually open up your circle beyond the people in your household. Keep in mind, it’s important to be deliberate in the creation of your “bubble.”
While it might be okay to invite your bestie over for a movie night, the time certainly is not right to be hosting parties with large, interchanging groups of people. Rather, select a small number of loved ones with whom you’ll collectively limit your social interactions. By keeping it consistent and avoiding changing-up your posse, you’ll be able to minimize your collective exposure.
If you do end up seeing friends and family who aren’t in your bubble, limit your group to two to six people and keep 2 metres of physical distance between you.
Make sure you’re covered
Condo insurance (whether you own or are renting) is a great way to provide yourself with the peace of mind that guests will be safe in your space. Making sure your space is insured entails protecting your home and belongings, of course, but it also means safeguarding the people in your bubble. This is especially important if your bubble includes vulnerable or senior family members who may be at risk of accidents or injuries.
The liability coverage included in your condo insurance policy can be used in the event that someone injures themselves in your space. Since you are technically liable for the safety of others in your home, liability coverage will come in handy to cover expenses as a result of certain accidents.
BC-based insurer BCAA understands the unique needs of British Columbians, especially in light of recent times. If you’re unsure of what kind of coverage you need or whether your current coverage is sufficient, their expert advisors can get you started with the right customized coverage.
Optimize your space
The bigger the space, the safer it is. But if your condo is a shoebox, maximizing space might seem like an impossible task.
By considering the layout of your condo and where you’ll be hanging out with people, you can ensure everyone has sufficient personal space. This might require some minor adjustments, like rearranging your furniture or having enough seats out. You can even place tables between yourselves to help you intentionally mind your distance. Making some minor adjustments can go a long way in making sure people have breathing room — both literally and figuratively.
Keep it clean
Keeping your space tidy is no longer just a matter of aesthetics; it’s a safety measure that should be built into your daily routine — especially if you’re having people over. But being mindful of this doesn’t need to be intimidating. Rather, it’s about forging new habits that will eventually become second nature.
Think about the surfaces in your apartment that come into contact frequently — like your doorknobs and mailbox — and give them a quick wipe down before and after you have visitors. Having hand sanitizer handy for friends to use when they arrive and are heading out the door is also best practice.
The best thing you can do is be completely transparent with the friends and family you choose to be a part of your bubble. Start a conversation about what each of you is doing to personally mitigate risk and explore any concerns each of you might have.
Logistical things, like taking public transportation to get to each other’s places, are suddenly factors that should be accounted for. Consult one another about precautions and share helpful resources with your group so you’re all on the same page about how to protect yourselves and one another.
It’s normal for the physical boundaries you once had with your close friends, new people you meet, or acquaintances to have shifted as a result of the pandemic. Take some time to reflect on your limits and what forms of contact you’re comfortable with — hugs, handshakes, finger guns — and with whom.
Share your boundaries with your circle and have them share theirs. Prepare a response to how you might react to someone extending unwanted physical contact. By kindly and purposefully expressing this with others, you can make sure everyone feels comfortable.
This content was created by Hive Labs in partnership with a sponsor. Home Insurance is sold through BCAA Insurance Agency Ltd., a licensed insurance agency, and underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation.