By Ryan Howe, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
As we inch closer to the one year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Colorado, most of us can confidently say that we have found new ways to navigate our day-to-day lives while wearing a mask, keeping a physical distance from folks outside our household, and keeping our bottles of hand sanitizer close by. We’ve also found new ways to safely celebrate most holidays. But as we approach February 14, some of you might be scratching your head at how to appropriately celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is all about love and affection. Our love for the holiday begins early on when we trade cards and heart-shaped candies in grade school. Those candies and cards evolve into flowers and chocolates as we grow up. Eventually, they are replaced by kisses, love letters, dates, and gifts.
During the last year, Coloradans have found new and creative ways to celebrate their favorite holidays while keeping their families and loved ones safe. As we show our love this year, it’s important to:
Limit contact with those outside your household.
Keep a distance of at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
Wear a mask when you go out in public.
Wash your hands often.
If you’re unsure of how to celebrate with physical distancing in mind, we’ve curated a shortlist of options for your consideration.
Dinner and a movie
For those who are trying to start something new, we don’t blame you. It’s been a long 11 months, and there’s no time like the present to try and find companionship for the future. Rather than risking your health, try a first date virtually. It’s a little twist on a classic Valentine’s date that gives you more freedom to do whatever you want while eliminating the stressors of hiding your fresh garlic breath during the flick.
Start by cooking dinner together. No need to cook the same dish, but try your hardest to match cooking time; otherwise, one of you may be stuck watching a one-person episode of Top Chef. Use the time chopping and filleting to have an open discussion about anything from the weather to the Superbowl winner. Keep the conversation going and brag about how delicious your meal turned out -- even if it’s not. After dinner, settle on the couch and decide on a Netflix flick to watch simultaneously.
After the movie, set aside time to review it together over ice cream.
For those who already live with their partner, Valentine’s day could easily blend into the 300+ nights you’ve already spent with one another during the last year. Make the holiday special by breaking out of the monotony by signing up to learn something new in a virtual class.
Almost everything has space online today. You could learn how to cook chicken tikka masala from a chef in Delaware, take a tango lesson from someone in South Florida, learn to paint in watercolor from someone in Toronto, or take your first violin lesson from someone in Denver; the possibilities are endless.
At-home dance party
Whether it be clogging, breaking, or two-stepping, there’s no greater joy than hitting the dance floor with a partner. It brings you close together while the beat does its best to make your bodies move in sync and sweat makes your skin glisten. It’s romantic. It’s hot. It’s fun.
Although you’ll have to forego a crowded dance floor, no one will be spilling a drink on you. This Valentine’s Day date idea isn’t limited to just couples. It can be done between housemates, parents and children, even strangers on the internet. Start it off with Scissor Sisters’ “Don’t Feel Like Dancing” to get you in the mood (trust me).