Kicking Out The Cabin Fever Responsibly: Entertainment In The Era Of Social Distancing

By Claudia Pillay

Kicking Out The Cabin Fever Responsibly: Entertainment In The Era Of Social Distancing

Desperate for a get-together with friends and family? You’re not alone!  Isolating and staying home has been tough on everyone.  The dreaded Covid-19 disease has had an unprecedented impact on almost every facet of our lives.  With most governments effecting stringent protocols to minimize transmission of the Coronavirus, our greatest responsibility is to reduce the risk of exposure by observing the necessary safety precautions. 

Whether you choose to stay in, go out, or host intimate groups, the important thing to ensure is that you do so creatively and responsibly. Some ideas to help you along the way:

Planning to host a small group?

Take it outside. 

Partying outside, always a vibe!

 Make the most of our beautiful weather by dining al fresco!  With fresh air and more space between people, the risk is reduced. Ensure you have enough room to accommodate your guests with social distancing. Guests should be at least 1.5 meters apart.  Place hand sanitizers liberally, and encourage guests to use them regularly.  Also, have a stock of disposal masks on hand.

Hello hand sanitizer 

Show your care by greeting guests at the door with hand sanitizer. Go the extra mile by sanitizing the bottom of their shoes or having them leave their footwear outside. Stock up on single-use napkins or serviettes for guests to dry their hands.

Dishwasher or disposable 

If you have a dishwasher, put all used cutlery and crockery on the hottest and longest cycle. Alternatively, ditch the clean-up with some pretty paper plates and cups. Bamboo plates or repurposed sugarcane fiber plates are a great environmentally friendly alternative. Bonus, the sugarcane plates are water and oil resistant and microwaveable and can be recycled after use. 


Buffets are out as guests can’t all touch the same serving spoon to serve themselves. Instead, delegate one person to do all the dishing up and ensure they stay masked up for the process. 

Stay home if you are sick

Stay home if unwell

If you’re showing flu-like symptoms, stay home. Yes, you don’t want to miss out, but you definitely don’t want to be a super spreader! That goes for the guests as well. Rather cancel if you think you may have the coronavirus. 

Staying indoors? Go virtual

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean a life of loneliness and boredom.  You can still have fun in new and unconventional ways.

Go tech and host a virtual party event: 

Virtual parties for the win

With multiple video call applications and web platforms, you are one step away from creating a party of a lifetime unhindered time and space.  Themed parties, live sports viewing, movie nights and even wine tasting can easily be incorporated as part of your hosting, bringing together loved ones for some much- needed bonding and camaraderie.

The Covid 19 pandemic may have brought a sudden halt to life as we know it, but that has not dampened creativity. A case in point, Hoot, cook, go an African cooking competition with a twist.  Packaged as a television show, it features three teams preparing a home-cooked meal in just one hour. But, once they hear the hooter, it’s time to get in the car and move on to the next team’s house. The best meal, as judged by the teams, takes the prize. 

Catherine Ndashe Phiri, Executive Producer of the Zambian segment, explains how they pulled it off in the time of the Coronavirus. “This was a very interesting new concept for us, and filming was a challenge. We also didn’t want to date the show, so the contestants didn’t wear masks on camera, which meant we had to be extra careful.”

The large number of people on set meant filming time was shorter to ensure everyone’s protection, but this also led to delays in production. 

“We especially struggled with the transport aspect. We had to get more cars to allow for more spacing between people, and this was challenging for the camera work,” she explains. “We only had to film four episodes, but some filming happened during Zambia’s much more dangerous second wave. If someone tested positive, we all went into quarantine, which meant we again pushed shooting schedules out.”

She adds, “But entertaining can still happen, provided everyone is careful, considerate and follows protocol. Wearing masks and frequent use of hand sanitiser is essential.” 

Catch Hoot, cook, go on DStv channel 173. Thursdays, EAT (18:00)