Like most people, 2020 has been a tough year. You would think living in the midst of a global pandemic and in a country where saying your life matters is a political statement would be enough to deal with. But now we are also suffering from the anxiety of being isolated from our friends and family.
Necota and I have been super fortunate over the last few months that we formed a COVID Pod with our Aggie (NC A&T) friends, Dan and Donna Ford. Although we haven’t been able to see our family, we have been able to hang out and socialize normally with our “framily”, the Fords. Just a few months into quarantine, we realized that both households had similar COVID behaviors, and we trust each other, so we decided to form a COVID Pod. A “pod” is simply a small group of people (the smaller, the better) that agree to only hang out with each other.
Through our Quad Pod, we’ve been able to give hugs, hang out mask free, and spend good, worry-free, quality time with each other with minimal risk to ourselves. If a pod sounds like a good idea, check out the tips below to start your own.
- Choose your pod members carefully. Think of people who take similar COVID precautions as you do. You don’t want to learn that after you’ve been doing home pedicures and staying in the house, that another pod member has been hanging out with other friends or going to the hairdresser. Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable with joining a pod with someone that has to go into an office daily for work. For us, this was simple since we all work at home and have decided to forgo our pre-COVID luxuries of pedicures and dining out.
- Be open and honest about all interactions outside of the pod. There will be times when you can’t avoid interactions or decide to see someone outside of the pod. Everyone in the pod deserves to know all the risks.
- Take a COVID test (although we didn’t), and immediately quarantine for two weeks before entering a pod. Also, if anyone engages in risky behavior (interacting with other people, haircuts, travel…), they need to quarantine for two weeks before re-joining the pod, to be sure they are COVID-free. After we took our trip out west, we waited the full two weeks (probably longer) in the house before we saw Dan and Donna again.
- Hang out together and have fun…inside, hugs for all, and NO mask. In our Quad Pod, we’ve had a backyard campout, fish fry, beach vacay, and HOMEcoming celebration so far, and we can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with each other. This holiday may not be the same as how we would normally celebrate, but we are grateful for the love that exists in the Quad Pod.
In 2020, we are making the best of what we have, and for us, it doesn’t get any better than our Quad Pod. Consider finding your own pod and creating your own community this holiday season.