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Health and Fitness News

Assessing Your Risk

What are the safest and riskiest activities when it comes to COVID?

COVID-19 has been around now for over a year. As the months go by, scientists continue to discover more about how the virus is transmitted, what its symptoms are, and how it’s best treated. Being a new virus, there’s still much to learn. In the beginning, when so much was still unknown, the safest approach was lockdown. Normal, everyday activities were canceled or adjusted for safety precautions.

Now that a vaccine has arrived and millions are now protected from the severe effects of the virus, life is starting to feel a little more normal. But we’re not there just yet.

As you do life these days, there are still recommendations and restrictions for how to keep yourself and others safe from COVID. Your risk depends on whether or not you’re fully vaccinated, how much distance you keep between yourself and others, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the length of time spent with others, and whether you or others are wearing a mask.

Still nervous about the virus? Don’t stay in your house forever. When you’re ready to get out and about, here are some of the safest and riskiest activities.

Low Risk

Wondering what activities you can do with the least risk of exposure to COVID? The safest are those that allow you to stay at least six feet from other people and take place outside. You should be safe from exposure when using curbside pickup for groceries, prescriptions, or dinner.

You can also get plenty of exercise without much risk. Working out outside is considered low risk if there aren’t many people around. The outside air diffuses any possible exposure to the virus. So go for a bike ride, walk, or jog. Play tennis or pickleball. If your trainer isn’t meeting in person again, keep up your health with online training.

Pumping your gas, opening the mail, or doing gardening are totally safe. And when hanging out with friends and family, you can stay safe by staying outside.

Moderate Risk

Your risk of COVID exposure increases in large groups of people. This is particularly true when you’re at an indoor event, where there is not good ventilation. Activities with moderate risk include grocery shopping, getting your hair or nails done at the salon, eating outdoors at a restaurant, riding in a car with others, staying at a hotel, visiting a library, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or taking the kids to the playground.

Your risk increases slightly if you spend the afternoon at a public pool or beach, go shopping at the mall, or attend a picnic. Kids are at a moderate risk when they go to school, daycare, or camp. Fortunately, children don’t seem to spread the virus as easily as adults.

High Risk

So what activities place you at the greatest risk for contracting COVID? Those that put you in close proximity to a lot of people you don’t live with, indoor events at which no one wears a mask, and activities that include singing or yelling.

Examples of risky activities include eating indoors at a restaurant, hanging out with friends at a bar, or going to see a movie. Attending a party or concert or playing a contact sport like basketball or football also up your risk. Other risky activities include attending a wedding, funeral, or religious service, commuting in a bus or train, working out at the gym, or going to an event at a sports stadium.

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