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Father’s Day is a great way to celebrate Dad and make new memories together. But with COVID-19 still a threat, it’s important to ensure those memories are the only thing he comes away with.
Many communities are easing their recommendations for safe socializing, so Father’s Day — to be observed Sunday, June 21 — could play host to more family get-togethers than we’ve seen in recent months. If you’re meeting up with Dad, show your love by keeping him safe: wear masks when recommended, stay a safe distance apart and keep your gatherings small.
“Give your Dad lots of love, laughter and a good time this Father’s Day, but don’t give him coronavirus,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “Some men think they’re not going to get sick from this, but that’s just not true. Right now, showing you care means playing it safe, both for you and for Dad.”
Suggestions for a meaningful and safe celebration with Dad include spending time outdoors, where COVID-19 is less likely to spread. That can mean taking a walk in a park, having a picnic or going for a family bike ride. An outdoor cookout may also be on the menu, but keep food safety in mind.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers four key food safety steps to prevent foodborne illness: clean, separate, cook and chill. That includes keeping raw meat away from other food, using separate cutting boards, cooking meat to a high-enough temperature to kill harmful germs and refrigerating perishable food, CDC says. If you’re cooking out on the grill, use a food thermometer, not your eyes, to make sure food is cooked well enough to eat. And be sure to wash your hands thoroughly as you prepare and cook your food and before you eat.
“Speaking as a dad, I know Father’s Day is a time for both good food and good company,” Benjamin said. “But when I’m spending time with my family this weekend, I’m going to do all I can to keep us healthy — I want us to be celebrating Father’s Day together for many years to come.”
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