graphic: ornamental "squiggle" in blue

One of the things that makes the coronavirus so contagious is that you can catch
it from a person who appears to be symptom-free
. I am requesting that you, your
guests, and all attending — officiant, photographer, videographer, etc. — all be free
of symptoms for 14 days prior to your wedding date
.

So, what can you, your guests and your wedding party do during the 14 days before
your wedding to reduce the risk of infection
at the wedding? And what should you avoid?

Chances are you have heard or read many of these reminders many times,
but it doesn’t hurt to repeat them:

Avoid any contact with people with known or suspected COVID-19 infections,
whether or not masks were worn at the time. The most recent studies available
in June 2020 suggest that surgical masks reduce the chance of catching
COVID-19 by only 40 – 60%. N95 masks are much better, stopping an estimated
90% of virus particles.

That said, a 40-60% risk reduction is a big improvement over not wearing a mask
at all! Masks are much more effective in preventing an infected person from
spreading the virus, whether or not they are showing symptoms
. “I do it for you,
you do it for me.” We don’t do it for somebody in government, or to be
“politically correct,” but for each other.

So urge, perhaps even insist that those around you on a daily basis — family,
coworkers, others in your “bubble” — wear masks when out in public indoors,
or in crowded outdoor settings
.

Especially avoid mingling with groups of strangers or casual acquaintances
we never know where they’ve been, or who they have been around.

Avoid spending more than a short time in an enclosed space with those you do
not know
. This particularly goes for being in small rooms and/or those with poor
air circulation, even if you maintain the recommended “social distance” of 6 feet.
Remember, 6 feet is just a guideline, not a guarantee — the farther the better.

Even outdoors, which is definitely safer that indoors, mingling with a crowd,
where social distancing can be difficult or impossible, is risky. Avoiding parties,
music festivals, bars, public transportation and other dense groups of people
is a good rule of thumb
.

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially immediately after you
come home from any trip to a public place, like the drug store or supermarket.
To “wash well” means with warm water and plenty of soap, scrubbing vigorously
for at least 40 seconds. Don’t forget your hand sanitizer — make it a habit to use often.

And finally, expect our understanding and the State of California mandates regarding
the virus to change weekly, sometimes daily
. My promise is to keep you as
informed and up to date as I possibly can as it relates to weddings in California.

Thank you for choosing Elope Mendocino and for your patience and understanding.