We’re all a little new at this post-lockdown pandemic new normal. Businesses are opening up, but people are more or less venturing out with a healthy dose of trepidation. It also yields a whole host of unanswered (and often unanswerable) questions:

When you do see friends again, do you hug? Do you shake hands with strangers? How do you eat with a mask on? Or drink for that matter? (We tried it – it just soaks into the mask.)

Regardless, babies and birthdays still happen just as the world keeps on turning. This is a weird time to try to follow rules because right now, there are no rules. So it’s time to write some! Here are our tips for gathering with distance.

How to Throw a Social Distancing Party

Maintain an attitude of no judgment. Everybody is different, and everybody’s situation is different. People may have underlying conditions or be living with someone that is at high risk. The point here is to be understanding and put people at ease. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable gathering, offer a video call for everyone that doesn’t attend. We also suggest reminding everyone on the invite that this is a no-hugging, no hand-shaking zone.

Stay outdoors and make sure you have enough space. We definitely recommend keeping any festivities outdoors and making sure that you have enough space to accommodate the 6-foot guideline with the number of guests that plan on attending. In other words, 20 people is an inappropriate number for an apartment patio that’s 4×12.

Keep your guest list small. Now is not the time to throw a giant rager. Keep your party size limited to your local government’s recommended group size (or less).

Mark your distances. You can do this with some inexpensive social distancing decals or come up with something more creative, like tiki torches. Just make sure to measure that each marker is 6 feet apart.

BYOB. Sure, you can try to give every couple their own pitcher of margaritas and meticulously wipe down every carafe. Or, you could just make it BYOB and BYOC (bring your own cooler.) Done and done.

Make masks mandatory. If you think you’ll have a couple of non-maskers in attendance, make it part of the theme. You can set up stations with the paper masks for everyone to decorate, or make it a mask-required costume party! Alternatively, have a prize for the best mask. Yes, we get that it’s difficult to drink with a mask on (see above) so just do the best you can. However, nobody will wear one when they’re not drinking if they don’t even have a mask with them.

What about the bathrooms? Bathroom access is probably the most difficult part about trying to host a social distancing party. Make sure there is a no-touch route to the bathroom, and provide adequate soap and hand sanitizer for everyone to use before and after using the restroom. We also recommend sanitizing all touch surfaces before and after the party. Let’s hear it for sparkling light switches!

How do you cook for a crowd that’s socially distanced? Food options are also a challenge. We suggest calling a personal chef that also offers meal delivery service. They are better prepared to individually package each meal than a typical catering service. And the food will be fabulous, to boot!