MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There’s no question, the past eight months have been downright tough. Many of us long for that happy hour, playdate or Sunday night family dinner again.

But medical professionals say it’s important not to breach your bubble.

“That’s really the best defense that we have is to keep those bubbles small and to keep them confined to people who share similar practices around avoiding exposure,” said Dr. Annie Ideker, a family physician at Health Partners.

If you don’t have a bubble yet? It’s a good idea to make one.

Here’s how:

First, find good candidates for your bubble that have similar lifestyles. Do they work from home? Do their kids go into school?

“It’s discipline here that matters and you need to figure out how disciplined the people are that you might want to merge your bubble with,” said Dr. Frank Rhame, an Infectious Diseases Physician at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, which is part of Allina Health. If you don’t trust the people to be reliable, said Rhame, you don’t want them in your bubble.

Remember to limit the size of your bubble.

Governor Walz says starting Friday, you can only gather with up to 10 people and those gatherings should be limited to members of three households or less. If you can’t keep the bubble airtight because you’re a frontline worker or your children go into the classroom, for example, then your bubble needs to get even more small, advises Ideker.

Next, don’t break the bubble!

“Really truly maintaining the bubble means that as families you aren’t then going to other peoples homes,” said Ideker

And it’s important to keep the conversation going.

Being open and honest with your pod-mates will keep you all that much safer.

“We need to feel fully empowered to ask those people that we may be spending time with how they’re approaching their own safety,” said Ideker

“If I’m really careful about this, if I think it through…I can do a lot,” said Rhame.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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