With “shelter-in-place” coming to an end in Indiana, the next question is: How do we safely begin to open up our quarantine bubble?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ending isolation. Each family needs to evaluate their risk levels to decide what works best for them. Here are some ways that families have been expanding their quarantine bubble, while also keeping everyone’s safety in mind.
Families who are ready to see their friends and loved ones again — but not get too close — have been considering throwing driveway parties. The host family asks their guests to bring their own folding chairs and refreshments, and everyone enjoys each other’s company outdoors from a safe distance (at least 6 feet away). Some people have used sidewalk chalk to draw zones, so guests know where to safely place their chairs. Children might need help remembering to keep their distance from others, so everyone participating in the get-together needs to make sure to discuss staying in their own zone with their children.
Pros: It’s a safer way to see family and friends without breaking social distancing guidelines.
Cons: Younger children might have a harder time staying in their zone, or not running up to give a missed relative a hug.
The Double Bubble
Some households agree to exclusively see each other, or combine their bubbles. For some families, merging with another family with similar aged children works to provide social interaction for everyone in the family. The benefits of double bubbles for these families means extra childcare opportunities for both bubbles.
Pros: It is one way that some families have found to relax social distancing measures between two households, which means more hugs and playdates.
Cons: Families might find it difficult to select just one family, and they risk hurting the feelings of friends or family who were not selected to be in their bubble.
Families who feel that they are ready to spread their social circle even farther sometimes form a Quaran-Team. This is similar to the double bubble, just slightly bigger. Quaran-Team members agree to only see each other, and commit to practicing strict social distancing outside of the circle. Quaran-Team members are limited, and new members are only added if the whole group agrees.
Pros: It allows members of the team to relax on some social distancing guidelines when around the Quaran-Team.
Cons: A larger Quaran-Team increases the risk of spreading the virus.
The choice to expand (or not expand) your quarantine bubble is a personal one. Weighing the risks and keeping healthy at the forefront will go a long way to keeping everyone safe.