The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country, making your health—as well as the health of others—the #1 priority. With the number of infections breaking daily records, hospitals reaching capacity, deaths continuing to rise, and the identification of a newer, more transmissible strain of the virus, preventing initial infection is the best easiest way to do your part. Over the last year, we have learned that some places are riskier than others when it comes to the potential of coronavirus spread. Therefore, a truly easy way you avoid catching or spreading the virus is avoiding certain places completely. Here are 7 places you should never walk into, according to Darren Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
You Should Avoid Indoor Dining
Across the country, many mayors and governors have opted to put a stop to indoor dining, as sitting inside of restaurants and sharing meals with others has been detected as a higher risk activity due to ventilation issues and the fact that people take off their masks when they walk inside. Dr. Mareiniss dubs indoor dining “high risk.” “I feel badly about restaurants losing business,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, who orders takeout and delivery, told CNN. “And I feel it’s almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat.”
You Should Avoid Gyms
Dr. Mareiniss warns that gyms are risky establishments for the spread of the virus. Many states have opted to close indoor gyms, especially during periods of extraordinary surge.
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You Should Avoid Bars
Health experts—including Dr. Mareiniss—have repeatedly warned that bars have no business being frequented during the pandemic. This is due to the fact that most people take their masks off and don’t engage in social distancing, he points out. “They have been the source of multiple outbreaks,” he adds. “Bars: really not good,” says Fauci.
Don’t Take Public Transportation Unless You Have To
While communal transportation may be convenient, Dr. Mareiniss suggests staying away from the inside of an airplane, bus, or train during the pandemic where you will be “inside with multiple people from other households.”
Avoid Religious Houses of Worship; Pray and Commune Online
Whether your preferred place of worship is a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or AA clubhouse, Dr. Mareiniss warns that they have superspreader potential and dubs them “high risk.” Why? They usually involve little to no masking wearing, sitting or standing close to others, and singing or speaking loudly in an indoor environment, all a recipe for transmission.
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Use Caution During Indoor Gatherings
While gathering with members of your immediate household is impossible to avoid, multiple family indoor get togethers are a no-no, says Dr. Mareiniss. This includes holiday events, New Year’s Eve celebrations, dinner parties, and other types of indoor gatherings. There is “high risk mixing of multiple households,” he explains. “Remember, the virus can be actively spread by asymptotic patients.” Even small gatherings are dangerous, and cause the most spread.
Postpone Weddings, Funerals, or Bar Mitzvahs
While celebrating or mourning with friends and family can bring us joy, these types of events have been linked to huge outbreaks of the virus over the last year—including one wedding in Maine that recently caused a large outbreak and the deaths of several people who did not attend the wedding, Dr. Mareiniss points out.
How to Survive This Pandemic
“We’ve got to be able to get people to get out and enjoy themselves within the safe guidelines that we have,” Fauci says. “Make public health work for you as opposed to against you.” So follow his 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.