Is it safe to attend intimate parties and important events?
The safe and short answer is: If your presence will not make a life-or-death difference, it’s best you skip it.
We’ve always emphasized that we’re dealing with a lifeless but seemingly ubiquitous virus, very cunning in its lifelessness as it just waits for its victim to let his or her guard down, then goes into exponential replication mode as soon as it gets the feel of its victim’s living cell membrane and inner plasma.
And as Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong put it in real-life terms, “Tao lang po (nagkakamali rin).”
No one can compare with Magalong’s zeal and dedication in containing this pandemic and licking it for good, but we’re really bound to commit lapses. That’s our default setting, committing numerous lapses, allowing the virus to slip in, despite our best efforts.
Even if you comply with 99 out of 100 guidelines that may be required, say for an event, noncompliance with a single essential guideline can allow hell to break loose and cause transmission of the disease.
And if you think a nasopharyngeal swab a few days before the party is a foolproof precaution, think again.
The reliability of the result is good enough up to the time it was done, or when the nasopharyngeal specimen was collected. It could not even assure you that the holder of a negative result remained negative at the time he got his report. It’s more of a psychological crutch than a truly reliable safeguard.
Safeguards and guidelines are inevitable when you hold gatherings or events. But just imagine, if you’ll need a different set of guidelines for the hosts, attendees, food caterers, cooks, servers and washers, then it can really be overwhelming. Unless the event is really, absolutely necessary, you may have second thoughts organizing it.
And should you finally decide to push through with your event, you have to make sure you have a separate point person who’ll serve as the compliance officer, to make sure that all safeguards and guidelines are followed. The job should not be left to the host or event organizer.
With the myriad things they have to attend to, plus their different mindfulness of keeping the party lively, unwittingly compromising the safety aspects especially during the speeches and picture-taking, someone else who’s strictly mindful of transmission safety must be in charge.
I think all indoor parties should still not be allowed. The risk for transmission is dramatically higher for indoor parties than outdoor parties.
But even if you’re holding it outdoors, unless you’re sure you can keep the guests 6 feet apart, you may have to cut down the number of your guests if you don’t have enough space to keep them safely distanced.
An innocent laugh or sneeze may be all that is needed to start the cascade of a party gone awry.
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