These Everyday Activities Are More Dangerous Than Ever, Says Expert
In December, it was revealed that COVID-19 variants had been detected abroad, and have since been identified in the United States. So, how should these new mutations impact our daily activities, including where we go? "The UK variant (B.1.1.7) of covid19 is more transmissible and appears more deadly," Darren Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University, tells Eat This, Not That! Health. The other variants, including a South African variant (1.351) and a Brazilian variant (P.1), "all appear to spread more easily," he adds. "As a result, the new variants make certain locations even more dangerous." Read on to learn about everyday activities that are more dangerous now with the mutation—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Indoor dining has been considered risky since the start of the pandemic. Now, with the more transmissible variants, it is even riskier, according to Dr. Mareiniss. "People should avoid indoor and poorly ventilated areas," he urges. In addition to potentially poor ventilation, the fact that you have to take off your mask while eating offers the potential to become infected and spread the virus.
Bars are possibly more concerning when it comes to the potential spread of the new COVID-19 variants than restaurants, according to Dr. Mareiniss. Typically on the smaller side, social distancing isn't the norm in bars, and the nature of drinking makes it impossible to keep your mask on. Additionally, most people in bars are drinking alcohol, known to impair judgment. The CDC also points out that drinking alcohol "weakens your body's ability to fight infections, increasing the risk of complications and making it harder to get better if you are sick," and can also "increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, which are sometimes associated with COVID-19."
Multi Household Gatherings
Inviting friends and family over to your home might seem safer than meeting at a bar or restaurant, but it is similarly as risky and even more so with the introduction of the new variants, says Dr. Mareiniss. Why? People tend to let their guard down in these types of situations, taking masks off and failing to socially distance. Seeing as though the virus is generally spread by people who are asymptomatic and do not appear sick, via tiny infected respiratory droplets, a multi-family gathering can easily evolve into a superspreader event. "Always wear a mask and stay 6 feet from others," he reminds us.
Going to the mall might seem like a good idea to pass time. However, keep in mind that indoor shopping centers have little to no ventilation and are the gathering spot of people from various households, making them ideal for COVID spread.
Subways, buses, trains, and planes are all convenient methods of travel. However, any type of mass transit puts you at risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19, especially the more transmissible variants. Why? Again, lots of people from different spaces in a small space where social distancing can't be maintained.
Any type of social event involving people outside of your home should be a no-go during the pandemic, especially now with the new COVID variants. Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.