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This is the #1 Unsafest Thing You Can Do Right Now, Warns Doctor

This simple mistake could cost you your life.

For the last many months, health experts have been attempting to drill important coronavirus prevention measures into our heads: wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance from others. All of these are evidence-based strategies that will help reduce our personal risk of acquiring COVID-19 and reduce the risk of transmitting the disease to others, even if we don't have symptoms ourselves. 

At this time in the pandemic trajectory, keeping yourself and others protected is of the ultimate importance. We asked one of the nation's top infectious disease doctors what the unsafest thing that anyone can do right now, and her response could save your life. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

What Is The Least Safe Thing You Can Do?

"The least safe thing to be doing right now is to abandon your mask in that indoor crowded space," Jaimie Meyer, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist and assistant professor at the medical school, tells Eat This, Not That! Health. "While cloth face coverings will not protect you completely from being exposed to COVID-19, they are an important barrier protection to prevent you from transmitting the disease to others. So if everyone around you is wearing a mask, you are that much safer."

Unfortunately, she points out that many people are experiencing burnout, dropping their guard and taking off their masks when they shouldn't be. "We cannot afford to be lulled into complacency or think that this crisis is over and stop doing the things that we know will keep us safe and healthy," she points out. "It is still really important to practice safe behaviors."

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says You Don't Have to Do This Anymore to Avoid COVID

Avoid Super Spreader Events

She is most concerned about potential "super spreader" type events—large congregations of people in an indoor space. "The epitome of this perfect storm of unsafety are crowded indoor spaces in places where people are abandoning masks and yelling despite rising cases in the community," she explains, mentioning the Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as an example. 

"A signed waiver, required with ticket purchase to the event, will not keep you safe," Dr. Meyer points out. "This was not political—this was a public health emergency." 

"They also risk exposing frontline healthcare workers when they inevitably fall ill. The biggest risk of engaging in unsafe behaviors like this event is that people will unwittingly transmit the virus to people in their communities who are most vulnerable to severe infection—those who are older and with underlying health conditions." As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah