The Fourth of July: Traditionally, this national holiday is celebrated with community-wide parades, dazzling displays of fireworks and barbeques with family and friends. But, coronavirus (COVID-19) and the safety precautions that come with it will make this year’s celebration look a little different.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy our country’s birthday and stay healthy.
Discover how you can make it a fun, safe and memorable holiday.
Play it smart to stay healthy on Fourth of July
Many states and communities are slowly opening back up and easing restrictions on the number of people that can gather and places you’re able visit. But, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still a risk to our public health. As you’re planning how to celebrate America’s birthday, remember to do so safely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Stay six feet apart. Physical distancing (aka social distancing) has been proven to help keep people healthy.
- Wear a mask. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals wear a cloth facemask in public when it may be difficult to maintain physical distance.
- Avoid sharing items. Keep utensils, food condiments and coolers limited to your family. Sharing items can promote the spread of the virus.
- Keep festivities outside. Research suggests that the fresh air and adequate space to stay six feet apart helps reduce the risk of transmission.
- Practice hand hygiene. Wash your hands (and make sure your family does so as well) before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid touching your face. Keep up your “hands off” approach when it comes to touching your mouth, nose, eyes and face to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Be smart when it comes to fireworks. Every year, adults and kids filter into nearby emergency rooms with injuries and burns from fireworks. This safety advice rings true every year – whether or not there is a global health pandemic. Be sure you’re taking all the necessary precautions if your holiday includes fireworks – from big bangs in the sky to sparklers. And if, by chance, an injury occurs – go to your nearest emergency room or clinic for treatment – don’t delay care due to fear of COVID-19.
- If you must travel, do so safely. If you are considering traveling or gathering together with family members you haven't seen in a while, try to follow these safety precautions to reduce your risk of exposure.
Now that you’re ready celebrate, here are a few fun and safe ways to enjoy the holiday.
Celebrate the Fourth with family
Holidays are meant to be shared with your family. That may be more difficult during COVID-19, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July with immediate family.
And, thanks to technology, family near and far can be included in the festivities. Pick an activity below (or two) and invite family or friends to join the fun with video conferencing, like Zoom, Google Hangouts or FaceTime.
- Stream Hamilton together. Hamilton, the Broadway musical hit, is streaming live on Disney+ starting Friday, July 3. What better way to get into the holiday than with listening to the story of one of our founding fathers? (Just remember, the content may not be suitable for younger audiences).
- Get patriotic with the Boston Pops. The show must go on for the Boston’s Pop Firework Spectacular. This year, they will be celebrating frontline healthcare workers and honoring those that have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The performance will be on available on television, radio and digital media beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 4.
- Have a family movie night. Pop some popcorn and settle in with the family with a kid-friendly movie that celebrates the summer and the Fourth of July. Common Sense Media can help you find the perfect movie for the entire family.
- Be festive with food. Get in the spirit of the holiday with red, white and blue treats. Find inspiration on Pinterest, like these delicious frozen bananas or yummy cake ideas. And, of course, balance any indulgence with healthy meals and snacks.
- Enjoy backyard games. What’s more patriotic than a game of backyard baseball? Gather up the family for a day of fresh air and physical activity – without having to leave home. If baseball is not your thing, set up an obstacle course, turn on the sprinklers, have a relay race or come up with another fun, family game like cornhole or ring toss. Cap off the night with a bonfire and s’mores as you watch fireworks on TV or stream patriotic music.
Celebrate Fourth of July (safely) with friends
If you’re eager to meet up with neighbors, there are still safe and fun ways to celebrate the Fourth. Just be sure to adhere to all your state and local guidelines on gathering size and set up your chairs six feet apart.
Here are a few ways you can organize Fourth of July fun for the whole neighborhood.
- Organize a flag hunt. Invite neighbors to put small flags in their yard. Then, take a walk around the block to see how many your family can find.
- Put together a parade. Encourage neighbors to decorate their cars and drive along designated streets at a specific time. Honk horns. Wave flags. (Just be sure not to interfere with regular traffic patterns.)
- Have a BYOF (bring your own food) barbeque. Set up picnic tables six feet apart and enjoy a community picnic while maintaining physical distance.
- Watch fireworks together. Lawns make a great place to see the night light up with the annual tradition of fireworks. Get out your blankets and set up camp six feet apart from your neighbors so you can “oooh” and “aahhh” together.
- Create a sidewalk chalk contest. Break out the chalk and challenge your neighbors to show their Fourth of July spirit with pictures, phrases and drawings. Enjoy walking around to see everyone’s creations.
Find a doctor
If you feel unwell and would like to consult your doctor, Providence Express Care Virtual connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow-up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory or search for one in your area.
You can also learn how your state's department of public health is responding to the situation:
Ready for the Fourth? This year may not include crowded firework displays or typical barbeques, but there are plenty of fun and safe ways to celebrate the holiday. Learn more. #COVID19
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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