The #1 Worst Place You Could Go Right Now, Say Virus Experts
COVID cases are spiking around the globe partly because of the highly contagious variant Omicron. While the virus is causing chaos and disruption like staff shortages, a rise in hospitalization rates and some schools switching to virtual only learning, there are things we can do to help prevent the spread and getting sick. Vaccinations, hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks play a big role in helping, but also where we go makes a difference. Eat This, Not That! Health talked to experts who reveal places we should not go right now and why. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Who is at Risk for Omicron?
Infectious disease expert and pioneering scientific researcher Dr. Serhat Gumrukcu says, "With Omicron being so widespread, even those who are vaccinated are still at risk of contracting it. Fortunately, however, many are experiencing mild symptoms such as colds, coughs, headaches and fevers—with many confusing it with symptoms commonly associated with the seasonal flu." Despite it being so prevalent, representing 94% of cases in the USA, it is possible to avoid it. And you should certainly try to, as you don't know what it will do to you. In the next 5 blurbs, you'll find out where not to go, or to be careful going.
Confined Indoor Spaces
Dr. Gumrukcu explains, "Given the severity of the highly contagious Omicron variant, I would strongly advise avoiding confined indoor spaces where people are in close proximity to each other such as nightclubs, house parties, and family gatherings. Any indoor space, especially those with inadequate ventilation, where people are not wearing masks or practicing social distancing could turn out to be a breeding ground for Omicron."
Dr. Kristina Hendija states, "Access to basic necessities is the first thing people swarm to whenever there is an expected lockdown or closure of shops. Do not succumb to panic and impulse buying because the risk of contracting COVID is high in places with a high volume of people."
"COVID is airborne, and studies have shown that even if an infectious person has already left, the virus remains in suspension for 15 minutes and can still be inhaled by new passengers," Dr. Hendija says.
Dr. Hendija suggests, "Unless you have a medical emergency, avoid going to hospitals for outpatient concerns for two main reasons. First, the hospital is already burdened with the influx of moderate to severe COVID patients and second, you are more likely to encounter a person with COVID at a hospital since it is where they are admitted."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.