I'm a Doctor and Warn You Don't Go Here Even if It's Open
COVID cases are on the rise and mostly due to the more contagious Delta variant. Not only Delta is substantially more contagious than the alpha variant, but it has also been linked to breakthrough cases. While vaccines are still highly effective at preventing moderate and serious disease, there have been reports of waning immunity amongst fully vaccinated individuals. There isn't reason for alarm as most cases are mostly of mild disease and asymptomatic. In efforts to preventing any infection with COVID, CDC now updated the guidance to wear face masks indoors.
As a doctor, I know that this is the right move. You do not want to get infected, and avoiding contact with the new strain of the coronavirus is very important. Read on for the places to avoid—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Avoid Indoor Dining
When you leave your house and go to a restaurant, you are at risk of catching COVID. There's no way to predict what ventilation system venues have in place, and remember, you will get in close contact with people who don't live with you. You don't know if they have the virus if they have been vaccinated and are increasing your chances of contracting COVID.
Avoid Office Spaces
Offices are usually poorly ventilated. Especially in congested urban areas and going back to indoor meetings increases the risk of exposing yourself to coronavirus airborne droplets.
If someone in your office sneezes, coughs or even chats with you while carrying the virus, you are at risk of catching it from them.
Even with physical distancing, it's difficult to be detached from sharing your air with others, and not breathe what they exhale. Droplets or aerosols are the most common way for Delta to spread from person to person. Indoor offices are not a smart idea at this time, unless you are wearing a N95 mask at all times.
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Avoid Churches or Places of Worship
Delta spreads quickly and these places provide the perfect situation for it to spread. Usually poorly ventilated the danger is increased because folks speak, sing, and sometimes shout. If they are carriers of the Delta coronavirus, you are likely going to catch it. If you catch it, you will bring the virus home with you. These gatherings are also less likely to have adequate physical separation and inadequate ventilation.
Needless to say, sharing your water and air supply in a tight ship during a pandemic is a big mistake. It's virtually impossible to follow social distancing guidelines and if someone is carrying the virus, it is hard to control the spread.
Don't Do In-Person Shopping
Avoid shopping at overcrowded stores. If you must buy in person, attempt to get what you need as soon as possible to avoid having to share your air with others. Wear a good quality face mask, maintain social distance and avoid huge groups. The bottom line is don't go indoors with people you aren't from your house to avoid infection with the Delta variant. 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.
Leo Nissola, M.D. is an award-winning immunologist and scientist. He is a Medical Contributor on CBS News and helped design and evaluate data-driven epidemiological models which the White House Coronavirus Task Force validated and presented in press briefings. Follow him on Instagram @DoctorLeo and on Twitter @LeoNissolaMD