THE RISKS OF 14 SUMMERTIME ACTIVITIES!!

By William

This is excerpts from an article by NPR regarding the possible risks of 14 common summertime activities as we attempt to re-open society among the effects from the coronavirus pandemic.

Their story reads as follows:

It’s been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what is safe?

We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings, to a day at the pool, to sharing a vacation house with another household.

ONE BIG WARNING:

  • Your personal risk depends on your age and health, the prevalence of the virus in your area, and the precautions you take during any of these activities. Also, many areas continue to restrict the activities described here, so check your local laws.
  • There is no such thing as a zero-risk outing right now. As states begin allowing businesses and public areas to reopen, decisions about what is safe will be up to individuals. It can help to think through the risks the way the experts do.

RULE OF THUMB (as stated by Dr. William Miller, epidemiologist at Ohio State University):

  • The more time you spend and the closer in space you are to any infected people, the higher your risk will be.
  • Interacting with more people raises your risk, and indoor places are riskier than outdoors.

# 1 – A BYOB backyard gathering with one other household = LOW TO MEDIUM RISK.

  • Meeting in a spacious outdoor area with only a small group is not too risky. But our experts say that safety here depends on who you invite and what their behaviors have been.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? To lower the risk, avoid sharing food, drinks or utensils – make it a BYO (Bring Your Own) everything party.
  • Watch out for drinking as it can make people sloppy about social distancing and it also increases the odds that people will want to use your bathroom.
  • REMEMBER – When the event moves into the house with others, the risk profile goes up.

# 2 – GOING TO A RESTAURANT, eating indoors = MEDIUM TO HIGH RISK.

  • Indoor dining is still amongst the riskier things you can do.
  • People tend to linger longer in restaurants and so even when spacing is ok, the duration of exposure is longer.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? The risk level depends on how well the restaurant had adapted for the pandemic. Eateries should reduce and space out their seating, require servers to wear masks, and offer easy access to hand-washing stations.
  • Restaurants should also provide single-use options for condiments so you don’t have to touch shared ones, and they should close off all self-serve areas like soda fountains or buffet tables.
  • Look for outdoor seating.

# 3 – ATTENDING A RELIGIOUS SERVICE INDOORS = HIGH RISK.

  • Worship services involve people from different households coming together indoors, for an extended time. All the ingredients are there for the potential for a lot of people becoming infected in a short amount of time even if just one person is infectious.
  • Singing – whether from the pews or the choir is very high risk according to several experts.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? If people are appropriately socially distanced, wear masks and avoid singing. Avoid any shared worship items such as hymnals.
  • The risk goes down if they adapt – maybe the church can limit attendance and require attendees to stay healthy by wearing face coverings and sit at least six feet apart.

# 4 – SPENDING THE DAY AT A POPULAR BEACH/POOL = LOW RISK.

  • Considered Low Risk as long as people stay socially distanced.
  • The sheer volume of water will dilute out the virus, making water a highly ulikely source of infection.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? How close people are to each other. Watch out for crowds at entry points and bathrooms.
  • It is suggested that a beach is better than a pool in terms of space and they recommend that people go early in the morning or late in the afternoon when crowds are lower in numbers, and look for beaches that mark off spots for people to set up their areas.

# 5 – OUTDOOR CELEBRATIONS WITH MORE THAN 10 GUESTS = MEDIUM TO HIGH RISK.

  • A family-oriented celebration is usually a summer tradition, but they come with a lot of risk right now.
  • Outdoors reduces the risk, but as people are celebrating and drinking, it seems like they may not social distance as needed.
  • With these type of events there will be a tendency to involve many extended face-to-face conversations.
  • The larger the guest list, the greater the potential that one may become infected.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? It all depends on the size of the gathering and how closely people gather.
  • When considering a celebration, make it a small one.
  • Think twice about inviting relatives and/or friends who may have underlying immune deficiency conditions.

# 6 – USING A PUBLIC RESTROOM = LOW TO MEDIUM RISK.

  • Restrooms have been designed to prevent disease transmission.
  • The risk depends on the number of local COVID-19 cases and how clean the bathroom may be.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? The main risk comes from those restrooms that are small, busy, and poorly ventilated.
  • If possible choose a bathroom that looks clean and is well stocked with supplies like paper towels, soap, and toilet paper.

# 7 – LETTING A FRIEND USE YOUR BATHROOM = LOW RISK.

  • What happens in the bathroom is going to be sucked out of the bathroom ventilation system and you can clean all the hard surfaces really easily.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? The possibility that your friend may be infected but asymptomatic. It would be responsible to decontaminate the bathroom after a friend uses it.

# 8 – STAYING AT A VACATION HOUSE WITH ANOTHER FAMILY = LOW RISK.

  • Pretty safe if both families have been quarantining and limiting their exposure to others.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? Whether or not everyone is safe.

# 9 – STAYING AT A HOTEL/MOTEL = LOW TO MEDIUM RISK.

  • The consensus is that staying at a hotel/motel is relatively low risk, especially once you are in your own room and you limit the time in the common areas such as the lobby, the gym, the restaurant, and the elevator – all of which elevate the risk.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? Brining disinfecting wipes to wipe down the TV remote, and other common surfaces. One may also want to remove the bedspread since it may not have been cleaned after every guest. Always ask about the hotel/motel cleaning policies as many should now have COVID-19 protocols. Minimum your touch on elevators.
  • Other suggestions are to order room service (if available) rather than eating at a restaurant, avoid the exercise room, and wear a face covering in public spaces.

# 10 – GETTING A HAIRCUT = MEDIUM TO HIGH RISK.

BARBERSHOPS - 01

  • A haircut involves very close contact and breathing that may be extended for several minutes.
  • This is considered a high risk scenario due to the impossibility of keeping a six foot distance during a haircut.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? The belief is that the risk will not be terribly high if both you and the barber/stylist wear masks and COVID-19 is not very prevalent in your area. Look for a salon/barbershop that has and ENFORCES policies to protect its employees, like wearing protective gear and sanitizing hands.
  • REMEMBER – by protecting their employees, they are also protecting you, the customer, as well.

# 11 – GOING SHOPPING AT A MALL = RISK VARIES.

  • How risky it is depends on what kind of a mall it is, how crowded it may be, and how much time you spend there. Crowds with high density lead to a substantial increase in risk taken.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? Outdoor malls are preferable to indoor one. Empty malls are better than crowded ones. Avoid the food court and go with a purpose, not leisure.
  • Be alert while you are there to avoid close contact, try to go at off peak hours.
  • BRING HAND SANITIZER, especially if you touch any shared surfaces like handrails or elevator buttons.

# 12 – GOING TO A NIGHTCLUB/BAR = HIGH RISK.

  • Consensus with experts that going to a nightclub/bar is a very high-risk activity.
  • Crowds, ultra-close contact, sweating, and inhibition-loosening alcohol are a potent cocktail of risk factors. When people drink, they become less compliant with rules and when dancing they breath heavier.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? Nothing makes going to a nightclub/bar a good idea right now. If you want to dance, have a dance party at home with people in your intimate circle. If it’s a small outdoor gathering, dancing under the stars and being six-feet apart makes it less risky as well.

# 13 – GOING CAMPING = LOW RISK.

  • For summer activities, CAMPING is the least risky from a virus perspective.
  • If you go with a group, be sure you can trust the other campers as to whether they have been social-distancing and following guidelines, if they haven’t then they could be asymptomatic spreaders of the virus.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? Of course risks can creep in. Are you camping in an isolated outdoor location with close friends or family, this will lower the risk. A crowded campground with a shared restroom and communal picnic area with raise the risk substantially.
  • Bottom line with camping – the activity itself is low risk, but beware of those people you come in close contact with during the trip.

# 14 – EXERCISING OUTDOORS = LOW RISK.

  • Unless you are playing outdoor sports, exercising outdoors is a good way to burn off steam while staying socially distant.
  • Many experts agree that sports such as golf and tennis are safer than contact sports such as basketball and football. Experts say one should avoid contact sports until they have a better sense of transmission risk.
  • Running or walking is considered a great form of exercise right now if you are not on a crowded path where people might be brushing past each other.
  • WHAT ALTERS THE RISK? The more people are involved in the activity, the higher the risk will be. It is possible to spread the virus when you are in close proximity to others – even if you are asymptomatic – so it is best to wear a mask if you can’t stay socially-distanced.
  • The risk all depends on the sport. In a game of basketball, everyone is touching the ball and you are going to be breathing in each other’s faces during play, while in tennis the risk is much lower due to the large distance between competitors.

There your have 14 summer activities and the risk or lack of risk they may involve.

Be safe and vigilante this summer folks – your life or the life of someone close to you may depend on it.

{This Posting is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers}

{Continue to follow us at www.mcpherson-county-ks.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/mcphersoncountyks/}