A group of experts from the United States evaluated the possibility of being exposed to the virus by doing activities such as opening the mail or attending a religious service, among others
The risk is higher in interior spaces where ventilation is poor.
Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images
How risky is it to go shopping or eat in a restaurant? And have a drink in a bar? Or go to the movies?
In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, surely many are wondering what the risks of infection are doing this type of activity.
Such questions wanted to answer the Texas Medical Association (TMA), which put together a panel 14 experts in public health, epidemiology and infectious diseases to design a classification according to the risk involved in performing different daily actions.
Going to the gym, eating at a buffet or attending a massive concert are among the most risky, according to the TMA.
“It is a chart made for Texas (USA), but it works for other countries. You have to consider the differences in each place, but there are also many similarities, “doctor John Carlo, an expert in public health and one of the TMA members who participated in the creation of the graph, tells BBC Mundo.
How was the rtonking?
The classification from 1 (least risky) to 10 (most risky) follows the following criteria: whether the activities are carried out indoors or outdoors; proximity to other people; the time of exposure to the virus; the possibility of following preventive practices (such as the use of masks) and the risk of a person being contaminated by taking the action.
That is why two very different activities can occupy the same category.
“The shopping center, although it is usually a closed space, can be spacious, ventilated and can allow maintaining social distance. On the other hand, the beach, although it is an open space, can be crowded ”, says John Carlo.
For all the activities on the list, the doctors considered that the participants wore masks, kept a distance of at least two meters between people (other than their relatives) and washed their hands whenever possible.
“This is the point of view of a group of doctors who had to answer how these activities compare in terms of risk. But only the person himself can know the conditions in which he is going to practice the activity and determine the total risk ”, adds Carlo.
The expert also emphasizes that the same type of business can vary greatly, as in the case of hairdressers and / or barber shops.
“In the United States we have salons where there is one person attending to a single client. Everything is very clean and both people can wear masks. There are others that do not and the risk is different. It is about using common sense to analyze the setting of each activity. Our graph is a good guide, but people have to analyze their own cases, ”concludes Carlo.
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