These activities are the riskiest to do right now.
Practicing social distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and regular sanitizing of hands are only some of the minimum public health standards that must be followed to prevent yourself from getting COVID-19, but you know that already. While following these guidelines may protect you from getting infected, the things you do everyday—going grocery shopping, reporting to the office, and receiving delivery parcels—are activities that may be putting you at risk.
Perhaps the only thing that can truly keep you safe is by staying indoors, but that isn’t exactly possible, for you will still find the need to step outside. However, it’s smart and important to educate yourself about the activities that may be putting you at risk. The doctors of the COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases from the Texas Medical Association ranked daily activities based on the risk level of getting COVID-19. They released an infographic containing a list of activities ranked from 1 to 10 based on its risk level, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Below are ten common daily activities, grouped according to how low risk or high risk they are. Read on.
A. Low Risk Level
● Opening parcels
Risk Level: 1
Be sure to disinfect your parcels before and after opening them.
Receiving parcels can expose both the deliverer and recipient to infection, for this activity requires close and physical contact. Having close contact with infected people and surfaces that are touched by a COVID-19-positive person can be a potential source of transmission, so make sure to disinfect after receiving a package.
Remember to always clean your food packaging before eating.
While there is currently no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food, there is still some risk to getting infected through food delivery or take-out. The virus can be transmitted through droplets, after all. If someone who has the virus sneezes or coughs on your packaging, or if it is handled by someone who touched the same surface that an infected person did, then it can potentially lead to you getting infected as well.
B. Low to Moderate Risk Level
● Grocery shopping
Risk Level: 3
Make sure your local grocery store is taking extra preventive measures.
Grocery shopping can be risky for various reasons. First, being in the same place with others may expose you to people carrying the virus. Second, grocery shopping is another activity that requires contact with high-touch surfaces. This can be relatively safe if you choose to go to less crowded grocery stores and disinfect your hands after touching the items.
● Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room
Risk Level: 4
Disinfect the chairs and arm rests before taking a seat in the waiting room.
The waiting rooms of doctors are busy places, and that in itself makes staying in one a low to moderate risk-activity. Plus, it is a confined space that is usually occupied by sick people. It is possible that the chair you’re sitting on may be contaminated by someone who has the virus, making the waiting room an environment for potential transmission.
Infected droplets can spread in closed spaces like malls.
Malls and other shopping establishments use centralized air conditioners to keep the places cool and make shoppers comfortable. However, this can mean that you may be breathing the same air particles as someone who has the virus. Remember that the virus can be spread through droplets, so if an infected person sneezes or coughs in a closed space, this can escalate the risk of potential infection.
● Working in an office
Risk Level: 6
Employees share the same air in offices, putting them at risk of getting infected.
Just like malls, offices are no different. Working in the office means having to stay in an enclosed area with people who may potentially be infected. There are also numerous high-touch surfaces in workspaces, including keyboards, door handles, and elevator buttons where the virus can be transmitted. The fact that employees also share the same restrooms further makes this activity a moderate-risk one.
D. Moderate to High Risk Level
● Eating inside a restaurant
Risk Level: 7
Dining inside restaurants is riskier than it seems.
The fact that you are surrounded by different people who must take off their face masks to eat is already putting you at risk. Another reason dining in is risky is that you are sharing the same utensils with people you do not know if the restaurant isn’t using disposable silverware.
Getting a haircut means having to be in close proximity with a stranger.
While getting a haircut may seem harmless, giving the barbershop or salon a visit is actually pretty risky. Getting a haircut means having to be close to a stranger for a prolonged period of time, for the process usually takes longer than 10 minutes. Your hairstylist may or may not be carrying the virus, but previous customers might be possible carriers.
E. High-Risk Level
● Working out at a gym
Risk Level: 8
Gyms are potential places for getting the virus.
Gyms are some of the establishments that were allowed to reopen after being temporarily closed because of the quarantine. This doesn’t make it a safe place to visit, though. Working out is a highly strenuous activity and you can’t always keep gym-goers from removing their masks when doing so. This may expose you to infected droplets. Gym equipment are also high-touch surfaces, making the place a high-risk area for infection.
● Attending mass gatherings like concerts and religious services
Risk Level: 9
Mass gatherings may cause mass infection.
Being in the same place as people whom you do not know is a high-risk activity, especially if you don’t know the amount of exposure these people have had before coming in contact with you. Plus, there are higher chances for social distancing to not be strictly observed with many people around. This can cause easy transmission from one person to another, leading to a significant number of cases.
As much as possible, it is advisable to participate in low-risk activities to prevent yourself from getting infected with the virus. If doing high-risk activities cannot be avoided, then remember to strictly observe public safety health measures to keep yourself and other people protected.
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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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