When the pandemic first hit some of the most well-known safety recommendations included wearing a mask, washing your hands, and staying home. As cases started decreasing worldwide precautions eased and small gatherings that followed social distancing were encouraged. The problem is that these might not be as safe as we have thought. 

Small gatherings include activities such as going to a restaurant with a limited capacity of guests or hanging out with a small group of friends or family. While these activities sound safer than being in a crowd of people, there’s always a risk. The fact that several restaurants and businesses are open tends to make people think that they are safe spaces, which can’t be guaranteed and makes them lower their guard and the precautions they were taking like wearing a mask or staying a few feet away from others. Your friends and family are also people you tend to automatically trust and care about, so you wouldn’t want to think about the fact that they might be sick. This trust makes people not follow safety guidelines as strictly when they are with those they care about. 

Spain has been experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. According to recent research, about 50% of those cases came from small gatherings with friends or family. Public spaces have started closing once again and some places now regulate the number of people that count as a “small gathering.” The Center of Disease Control in the USA has also come to a similar conclusion. While they have not limited small gatherings, they now have a guideline with recommendations on how to lower the risk of contagion when hosting or attending these, specifically during the upcoming holiday season.