There was some good news this week in terms of how coronavirus can spread. According to the CDC, coronavirus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects which is not what was previously thought.
And with the long weekend upon us and more beaches and parks opening, people are being encouraged to get out more while still practicing safe social distancing and preventative hygiene. However, are there certain activities that are safer than others when it comes to staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic? This is what you need to know.
Exercising outdoors: Low risk
Good news! You can spend the entire weekend running, biking, and doing squats outside and not really be worried at all about your health. But it doesn’t just have to be solo activities. You can play socially distancing sports like golf and tennis and badminton. Avoid higher contact ones like basketball or any game that involves more people in close proximity and sweating. And try to run and bike in less heavily populated areas. If it is possible, wear a mask whenever you are around people.
Shopping: Low risk
If you are in a state where stores are open (besides grocery stores) shopping is actually fairly low risk if you maintain six feet from other shoppers and wear your mask. Fitting rooms should not even be open. Checkout is where it can get a bit dicey but most stores have come up with safe processes for keeping both customers and staff as safe as possible.
Beach or pool: Low risk
Even though beaches were considered Petri dishes back in March, hopefully, people have now learned and are following the protocol. If you maintain six feet from other people at the beach or pool then you should be OK. Plus, swimming in the ocean or pool (if allowed) dilutes the virus but it is a good idea to stay away from people in bodies of water as well.
Gathering with a small group of friends outdoors (10 or less): Low to medium risk
This should be fine if everyone practices the right behavior. It really depends on your guest list and their previous behaviors. Have these people been practicing social distancing before they came into your space? And yes, you can let a friend use your bathroom. Most germs in the bathroom will be sucked out because of ventilation and you can decontaminate the space right after (and hopefully the person washes their hands.) Where it gets riskier is if you move the party indoors or invite more people.
Eating at a restaurant indoors: Medium risk
If you are in a state where restaurants are open eating outside or takeout are still the safer options. It’s all about the airflow and more contamination with people confined in a room. Wear masks as much as possible in this situation.
Getting a haircut at a salon: Medium risk
Dr. Susan Hassig, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, told Business Insider there is a risk of infection with haircuts because it is such an intimate experience. However, if both parties wear a mask that will help to minimize the risk.
Going to the gym: Medium to high risk
If you are in a state where the gym is open wear a mask at all times and make sure any machine you used is properly sanitized. Dr. Wesley Willeford, Medical Director of Disease Control at the Jefferson County Department of Health in Birmingham, Alabama, said gyms can be risky. But most gyms are trying to be as careful possible with some doing temperature checks, separating machines and wiping down equipment as much as possible. “I think that any time that we’re getting a lot of people in one place, fairly close, breathing heavily, I think we run the risk of seeing more COVID. So it does worry me to go right now,” said Dr. Willeford. “And if there’s any way that you can move to a home gym regimen, I think that’s the safest thing, the absolute safest thing.”
Going to a bar: High risk
According to Hassig, bars are quite dangerous. The risk of catching the virus goes way up at a bar because it is an enclosed space with people in close proximity who can’t keep their masks on while drinking. Plus, the more inebriated people get the less likely they are to follow social distancing rules.