The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of us to spend more time at home than we’ve been used to. Most of us spend a greater portion of our days either at work or at school. And even though lockdowns were eased in some parts of the US, the continuous rise in the number of infected individuals forces us to rethink our need to go outside.
This new set-up was already challenging for most people, but it posed a different set of problems for people who have just moved into a new subdivision or community. Spring and summer would have been the perfect time to get to know your new neighbors. Three-day weekends like Memorial Day and Fourth of July would have been the best opportunity to get to know people in your neighborhood.
Still, now that some restrictions have eased and you could venture out a bit, here are few ideas you can execute to foster camaraderie with your neighbors.
Hold a Socially Distant Block Party
A traditional block party would have you closing down the street, and setting up communal tables along the road where you and all your neighbors can gather together while eating each other’s signature dishes. Keeping in mind social distancing guidelines, why not hold the party along the sidewalk? Each house brings out its own table and chairs to sit by the roadside and dine al fresco.
What about sharing food? When you send out the invitations for the party, include your phone number and ask if some neighbors are willing to make extra portions for other households. Don’t forget to include a note where they need to RSVP so you’d know how many of your neighbors are willing to participate. However, in the spirit of friendship, you should also be ready to make food for your neighbors.
Hold a Netflix Movie Night
One of the greatest things that helped people get through lockdowns was Netflix. If not for the streaming service, many families would have gone stir-crazy. And thanks to the creation of the Netflix Party extension on Google Chrome that allows you to watch a show with friends, things became even more fun. You and your neighbors can choose a show to watch on Netflix together and chat while you’re doing it. Think of it as a virtual movie night. One other benefit? You get to sneakily figure out which neighbor you’re more likely to get along with based on their movie or TV show preference.
Hold a Mock Drive-In Movie Night
This is a fun one. However, it would only work if you live in a community where the streets are wide, and houses are big and spaced out. It’s also going to take a lot of work on your end. Drive around your neighborhood and find a perfect home where you can attach white sheets to serve as the screen. It has to be a house that’s both wide and tall, and whose exterior gives a good vantage point for most garages.
Put together the “screen” by sewing or taping together white sheets or drop cloths. Make sure it’s wide enough to cover the side of the house. Scout your neighbors and see who has a projector. If no one does, invest in one. Believe us. It will be well worth it. Send out your invitations. Your neighbors can stay in their garages or drive a little closer to the screen, but remind them to bring their own snacks and drinks!