This visual above demonstrates the realities of the “social bubble.” Especially going into the winter months, it is important to evaluate and see how best we can adapt and continue to persevere through this pandemic. While we were able to have enjoy outdoor gatherings in the summer and fall, the winter months will make this challenging. This is why it is important to think about creating a social bubble, and evaluate what your bubble actually looks like.
Questions to ask people before creating a social bubble
What does your social life look like already?
- Are you working from home or going into the office? Taking classes remote or going on campus?
- Is everyone in your household staying six feet away from others?
- Is everyone wearing masks in public?
- Will everyone limit in-person social interactions to the people within our bubble?
- Will everyone abide by whatever agreements we create?
- Can we agree to discuss changes before we make them to assure everyone is comfortable?
- If anyone comes into contact with someone who has COVID, or starts to feel sick, will you contact the rest of the people in our bubble to notify them?
Discuss what the ground rules are and make sure everyone will be comfortable with them. Consider:
- Is touching/hugging others outside the bubble okay?
- Is meeting people outdoors (while six feet apart) okay if they aren’t in the bubble?
- What to do if someone takes a vacation and needs to self-quarantine upon return?
- What to do if someone within the bubble gets sick?
- How accessible testing is for everyone in the bubble if needed?
How to initiate your social bubble
You've had the awkward but important conversations, and decided on the details and rules of your social bubble- hooray! Once you decide on rules, consider taking two weeks to ensure that everyone is following them before getting together. Consider doing a test run for a week or two before committing for the long term.
It can help to discuss ahead of time that it is not personal, and nobody should feel hurt or embarrassed if someone decides to leave the bubble. This is for the health of all involved, and things change, so we need to adapt accordingly. If you are not comfortable with the behavior of someone in your bubble, bring it up with them or someone else to discuss and decide what the best plan is moving forward.
Here is another good resource for How to Form a Pandemic Pod.