7 Things You Won't Be Able to Do This Summer Thanks to Coronavirus

It'll be a while before you can have a pool party or backyard barbecue again.

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Ocean waves crashing. Cheers at a baseball stadium. Happy shrieks from a carnival ride. Let's face it, the coronavirus pandemic means that summer 2020 is going to look—and sound—very different. So many of our favorite warm weather activities have been taken off the calendar indefinitely: beaches are roped off, state fairs are shut down, and Major League Baseball announced that Opening Day has been postponed. But anticipating these changes may make accepting the closures—and finding alternatives—a little bit easier. With that in mind, check out which summer activities you'll have to skip due to the coronavirus. And for more information on the places that pose the highest risk to your health, check out the 7 Most Dangerous Places You Can Catch Coronavirus.

1
Go to the beach

young black family walking on beach
Shutterstock/LightField Studios

When lakes and oceans are crowded at peak season, it's nearly impossible to maintain proper social distancing. And those beach concessions and public restrooms are definitely not cleaned as often as they should be. Although some people will likely try to find ways to stick their toes in the sand this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still advises that everyone stay home. And for more unsafe beach behavior, check out the 5 Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make at the Beach.

2
Visit a state fair

Couple at State Summer Fair
Shutterstock

With its carnival games, fried food, tractor pulls, and thrill rides, the state fair is a magical place for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, many states and counties are canceling their fairs amid coronavirus concerns. (So far, state fairs in New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, Alaska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Minnesota—which draws two million annual visitors alone—have been called off.) And it's easy to see why. Most of the carnival rides, like the spinning tea cups or bumper cars, feature "high touch" surfaces like steering wheels or seat belts that are hard to sanitize quickly. For the same reason, carnival games like ring toss and water gun races will also be off limits.

3
Throw a pool party

young multi ethnic friends having pool party
Shutterstock/oneinchpunch

Even pre-pandemic, swimming pools were kind of gross. In fact, from 1978 to 2012, the CDC reported 650 disease outbreaks associated with swimming facilities. For that reason, when pools reopen, they'll need to adhere to strict guidelines to keep swimmers safe. Disinfectants like chlorine and bromine can kill the virus in the water, according to the CDC, but it's easier to keep a private pool clean compared to a community pool. Even then, you should avoid having backyard barbecue and pool parties during the coronavirus. And for those left wondering: Can You Get Coronavirus From a Pool? Experts Weigh In.

4
Host a backyard barbecue

Dad barbecuing with daughter
Shutterstock

Who doesn't love a good cookout? This summer staple is one of the most fun ways to bring your friends and family together for an afternoon outside, tucking into American classics like baby back ribs, corn on the cob, and coleslaw. But for now, your grilling days are over. It's not wise to invite a group over when social distancing measures are still in place. This is especially true when it involves food and dish ware that is touched by many hands.

5
See a baseball game

people at baseball game cheering
Shutterstock/Joyce Vincent

Take me out to the ball game! Take me out with the crowd. Those whole lyrics sound a little different in this post-pandemic world. Currently, Major League Baseball and the Players Association are negotiating what a modified season might look like if it began in early July and wrapped up in late October. And if stadiums and arenas reopen, it's debatable whether fans will even be admitted. Consider the challenges of sanitizing arm rests between innings, or the perils of high-fiving after a homer. Stadiums might decide to fill one out of every three seats to ensure proper social distancing. Or instead, teams might play in completely empty stadiums.

6
Take a vacation

parents and daughter in golf cart taking photos on safari vacation
Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

Many American families save their vacation days and money for the summer when kids are out of school. But COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench in those plans. Hotels may pose a variety of risks, with their high-touch surfaces like door handles, gym equipment, elevator buttons, and TV remotes. And short-term rentals may or may not be any safer, depending on the cleanliness of the host or previous guest. Flying is also risky, despite airlines leaving middle seats open for social distancing and increasing cleaning crews. If you've got cabin fever (who doesn't?), check out these 6 Easy Getaways You Can Safely Take This Summer.

7
Have a movie night

young black couple in movie theater laughing while watching a movie
Shutterstock/Dean Drobot

Leann Poston, MD, of Invigor Medical, says that movie theaters could possibly open if the six feet of social distancing can be maintained. The only problem is that this would require theaters to keep every other row empty, affecting their bottom line. That, plus the cost of hiring additional personnel for sanitizing might be prohibitively expensive, especially for independent movie theaters. But the good news is that you can still make some popcorn and watch these 10 New Movies You Can Stream Early at Home.

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