COVID-19 has already affected 10.1 million people worldwide. Health experts said numbers will continue to grow and the disease may even spread faster as many countries, including the U.S., have been slowly reopening and lifting lockdowns.
There is currently no vaccine available to stop the coronavirus from infecting people. Treatments designed specifically for the disease are also yet to enter the market.
That is why the world currently relies on restrictions or lockdown measures to prevent or at least slow down the spread of COVID-19. But over the past months, some countries have started allowing people to resume businesses and return to their jobs in an effort to address the pandemic’s impact on the economy and employment.
Aside from the reopening of restaurants, bars, hair salons and offices, people are also slowly getting back to their regular lives, including outdoor activities. But the combination of business operations and residents’ access to public spaces may lead to higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Experts said that even simple everyday activities could contribute to new outbreaks. As it appears impossible to delay the reopening of businesses and offices, people should work individually to help manage the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re all getting tired of staying at home,” Jay Butler, deputy director of infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said as quoted by Business Insider. “The pandemic is not over, and it’s important to recognize that.”
People should continue handwashing practices, social distancing and using face masks or shields when in public. Knowing the risks associated with daily activities may also help prevent contracting or spreading the coronavirus.
Activities And Their COVID-19 Risk
Low risk activities are walking, cycling, hiking and eating outdoors, according to Business Insider. When going out, always stay at least 6 feet from another person and avoid “high-touch items,” like menus.
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 slightly increases when people go out for a picnic with friends and visit the beach and public pools. These activities have low-medium risk and require physical distancing, wearing masks and avoiding shared items.
Medium risk activities include haircut, nail salons and kids playdate outside. Always keep groups small, wear masks and ensure hand hygiene.
For medium-high risk, the list includes visiting elderly and other people who could easily catch the coronavirus. Going to the gym or hotel could also make exposure more likely because droplets carrying the virus spread faster in closed spaces and on high-touch items.
Surprisingly, dating could contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Date new people received a “high risk” mark along with visits to the dentist due to close physical contact.
But people are at highest risk of contracting or spreading the novel coronavirus during large indoor parties or gatherings. Being in dense crowds and poorly-ventilated spaces makes physical distancing impossible and allows virus-carrying droplets to land on people easily.
“Here’s a general rule of thumb: the more closely you interact with others, the longer the interaction lasts, and the greater the number of people involved in the interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread,” Butler said.