Socialising during the pandemic is no easy feat, especially when you are wearing your mask and constantly sanitising.
The number of times I have been asked to repeat something while wearing my mask is plenty and it can get quite awkward. Meanwhile, many people continue to breach Covid-19 protocols.
I recollect one of my early trips during Covid-19. The group was discussing the impact of the pandemic, and everyone huddled together. Most of them wore no masks, and social distancing was virtually non-existent. When travelling with a group, it puts you in a real predicament. If you leave, you are deemed unsocial, and if you follow the group’s actions, you are breaching the Covid-19 regulations.
So, after a few rather awkward encounters, I came up with a strategy to deal with social interactions when travelling during the pandemic.
Here are some of my tips:
The first step is to follow all the Covid-19 regulations, even if you are the only one in the group doing so.
That means wear your mask unless you are consuming food or beverages and maintain a distance from those around you. If you are in open spaces and far apart, you can remove your mask to communicate. However, be cautious when you do, especially when meeting someone for the first time.
Once the protocols are adhered to, the next step is to strike up a conversation, especially if you are meeting the person for the first time. If you are travelling with people you know, the conversation should flow freely.
Jokes help break the ice, whether you know the person or not. Like the time I joked about the mask fogging my glasses. The joke turned into a solid conversation, about travels, dealing with the pandemic and family life – all while everyone spoke at a distance.
Socialise in small groups
Socialise in small groups – about three to four people – whether you are at an activity, at dinner or the hotel. Never go to places with large crowds as these are super spreader spots. If someone doesn’t follow the protocols, kindly excuse yourself from the conversation. No amount of fun is worth getting the virus. And finally, do not let your guard down. Cherish every moment of your pandemic trip while still being mindful of practising all regulations.