This time last year, Pride Month was bleaker than ever, as social distancing was the safest means to avoid the pandemic. With the pandemic finally showing signs of slowing down, this year’s Pride Month to wave your rainbow flag in public.
But vaccination doesn’t guarantee absolute safety. Double-check these 4 essentials to stay safe during Pride Month 2021.
1. Wear a mask
Even when you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, there are still reasons to wear a mask when joining any Pride Parade this June. The vaccine neither provides immediate protection nor does it prevent you from spreading the virus. Furthermore, no vaccine is 100% effective, especially with COVID-19 being so mutative, with different strains appearing almost monthly.
Wearing a mask will protect not only you, but also members of the community with a compromised immune system, due to HIV, chemo treatments, or other medical conditions. These people are unable to get vaccinated as it threatens to infect them with the virus, instead of making them better.
Thus rainbow-themed masks are all the rage for this year. With their many LGBTQ+ positive designs, Redbubble lets you speak your Pride message proudly while still covering your mouth. Use one of our Redbubble coupons to get your personally designed masks for less.
2. Attend smaller events and online gatherings
In-person events, while loud, colorful, and fun, are not the only venues to celebrate your queerness. Due to the fear of COVID-19 still lingering, many venues are playing the safe card and host smaller-scale Pride events instead. These events are hosted locally and don’t attract as many participants, thereby lessening the chance of catching or spreading the virus. If you do participate in in-person events, check these important notes on COVID-19 equipment needed in public spaces.
If you still miss the huge parades that attract up to 50 million people, this year, many organizations take to virtual gatherings instead. With artist head-lining virtual concerts, most notably Charlie XCX’s Pride convert being streamed virtually via TikTok, or small to mid-size group gatherings through zoom, you won’t miss out on this year Pride experience even when you opt not to go out
3. Check for vaccinated details
Not everyone will be responsible toward the community. On the contrary, many will join in the fun even when they are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Therefore, to stay safe, check the event you are going to and see whether they ask for a vaccinated verification pass. If they do, then the attendees will all likely be vaccinated, and you should be safe.
At the moment, there are many verification forms or apps you can use to verify your vaccinated status. Just be sure to use whatever apps or forms the event you are going to request, and you are clear to participate.
4. Don’t accept drinks from strangers
You should not accept any eatables or drinks from strangers at any time. However, Pride does create a false sense of security, due to you being surrounded by people in your community. Thus accepting things from strangers as a gesture of kindness or politeness doesn’t seem that dangerous.
Unfortunately, accepting food or drinks in Pride events is just as dangerous as any time, even more so. Horror stories of how predators slip drugs into your drinks are heard too many times to disregard, even during Pride Month. Plus, even with masks on, the items can still catch COVID-19 infected droplets in the air, which can be transferred to you if you ingest the item.
Pride month is the season to be loud and proud. However, you should not let your guard down just yet. With the virus constantly mutating, you can never be too safe. Be extra careful and follow these 4 essential tips for a disease-free Pride season this 2021.