When Will It Be Safe To Go To A Bachelorette Party? There's A Lot To Consider Before Celebrating
Staring at your kitchen walls with a kazoo and bundle of balloons in your hand? Same. The past few months you've stayed at home and likely only ventured out to pick up groceries and toilet paper. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it's been essential to stay home, social distance, and wear a face mask when you do go out. But, many of us are wondering where this leaves celebratory and exciting events in the foreseeable future. Will your BFF's wedding get put on hold again? And when will it be safe to go to a bachelorette party?
If you've been to a bachelorette party before, you may have been part of a gathering of five to almost 25 of the bride's closest friends and family. You may have celebrated at a luxe hotel or someone's house in Las Vegas, Miami, or Nashville, where the plethora of pedal taverns, bars, and trendy restaurants did not disappoint. To say the least, bachelorette parties fall right into the category of events that are currently highly discouraged by public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC notes on their website, "The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering" — which is considered any size event, inside or outside, spontaneous or planned — "and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading." In addition, the CDC notes that virtual activities provide the least amount of risk and that traveling heightens your chances of contracting the virus and infecting someone you live with when you return.
Although some states are beginning to reopen their businesses, and the guidelines for interacting, traveling, and gathering are barely loosening up, it's likely still not in your best interest to attend a bachelorette right now, and until potentially next summer. In an interview with Elite Daily, Dr. Rachael Piltch-Loeb, a preparedness fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says, "There will be no magic time when it will be safe to attend a bachelorette party," particularly because these events differ greatly in size, destination, and activity type. She suggests not going to or planning a bachelorette party right now where there's an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, and to get tested beforehand if you do go to ensure you're not infecting anyone in your group. (In turn, your friends and other attendees should also get tested and adhere to similar precautions.)
In addition, she advises to follow the same guidelines of wearing a mask, social distance, and avoiding indoor and crowded places. There's an abundance of activities you can do as a group outside, in celebration of your bride, including hiking or visiting a national park. Outdoor activities might be what bachelorette parties look like in the future.
"Events will likely be smaller and occur in larger, outdoor spaces where transmission is less likely," says Piltch-Loeb, with the idea that it may be safer and easier to create space in between individuals. Dr. Dina Borzekowski, Research Professor of Behavioral and Community Health and interim Director of the Global Health Initiative at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health, notes our future with the virus is still pretty unknown.
"I wish I could predict when we will all be safe," she says. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of hurdles we, as a country and globe, need to jump through. Borzekowski says we need "reliable and widespread testing for the virus and its anti-bodies" and a vaccine that will ultimately protect us from contracting the virus and experiencing its aggressive symptoms such as a fever, difficulty breathing, and a loss of taste and smell. (A full list of symptoms of the coronvirus can be found on the CDC's website.)
Borzekowski says, "We are not there yet, nor do we have a viable vaccine," and that avoiding the celebrating that comes with bachelorette parties is crucial right now, because many major cities and communities are still seeing a rise in cases or are struggling to flatten the curve. She also notes that "young people tend to be asymptomatic," meaning they are positive for the coronavirus but show no symptoms. If you're asymptomatic, you're at a much higher risk of infecting someone you live with, love, or who is more vulnerable, like a grandparent, great aunt, or roommate with diabetes.
Borzekowski hopes next summer will be a bachelorette's time to shine. "My optimistic hope is that by the 2021 summer, public health researchers will have devised an effective vaccine, as well as the mechanism to distribute it globally."
In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to celebrate. You and your pals can start planning what that future trip or event may be like, and commemorate your BFF's big day by hosting a virtual gathering. You can play games via Jackbox Games, which turns your phones into the controllers. According to a recent press release via Jackbox Games, the virtual game outlet has even created a few bachelorette-themed "episodes" within their games, which you can participate in for a particularly special event. To access those, simply use the episode ID, JBJ-EGTW in Drawful 2 ($9.99; currently on sale for $4.99) and the episode ID, MLB-DMGQ in Quiplash 2 ($9.99; currently on sale for $7.49.)
When all is said and done, it's "best to plan a great beach trip next year," according to Borzekowski. Having a beach barbecue or dreamy trip to Europe for your BFF's bachelorette penciled in for summer 2021 will give you something major to look forward to. Hopefully, it will be an event filled with wine, hotel lounging, and everything you've always imagined it to be — and hopefully a mindset that's coronavirus-free.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.
Dr. Rachael Piltch-Loeb, preparedness fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health