I'm a COVID Expert and Beg You Don't Go Here Right Now
Over the last four months, Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that small gatherings, often including family members, are one of the key reasons that COVID-19 spread rapidly around the country. As vaccines roll out, it is as important as ever to take preventative measures against the virus, responsible for the deaths of over 527,000 Americans. And, according to Dr. Darren Mareiniss, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine Physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and expert in pandemic preparedness, escaping COVID is easier than you think. Read on for the key takeaways, and don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
How Can You Avoid COVID-19?
Due to the fact that COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, "more efficiently than the flu," avoiding potentially infected people is key. "Avoid close contact with other individuals, particularly while indoors," he advises. "Always wear a mask, wash your hands, and remain 6 feet apart."
However, due to the fact that the virus can also spread by airborne transmission—recently confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—there is one key prevention method he suggests: "Avoid crowded indoor spaces and ensure proper ventilation while indoors," Dr. Mareiniss states. "When interacting with others, try to remain outdoors and 6 feet apart."
Obviously, remaining outdoors isn't ideal or even possible in some parts of the country over winter, due to prohibitive weather. However, once you step indoors and congregate with friends and family, you are putting your health at risk.
Dr. Mareiniss points to a CDC report, focusing on a teenage girl infected with coronavirus, who attended a family gathering with 19 other relatives—14 who were sharing a vacation home together, and six who visited and remained outdoors during their time at the home.
"The case study showed that a symptomatic 13-year-old spread COVID to the majority of relatives staying in a vacation house together," he explains. "However, the child did not infect individuals who only interacted with her outside. This supports the need to avoid indoor contact."
The CDC also offers these general thoughts about indoor spaces:
- "The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
- Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
- Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there's less ventilation."
Practice the Fundamentals
He points out that the six people who avoided infection also wore masks and practiced social distancing — further proof that following the fundamentals encouraged by both the CDC and health experts such as Dr. Fauci and himself, actually work. So follow those fundamentals, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.