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6 Regular Summer Activities And Their Risks | Your Guide To Safe Summer Options During This Pandemic

6 Regular Summer Activities And Their Risks | Your Guide To Safe Summer Options During This Pandemic

Following social distancing and other precautionary guidelines are important.

The sun is out and many of us want to make use of the warm weather. However, unlike last summer, we are prone to be infected due to the virus outbreak. Therefore, it is important to know the risks involved before making plans to enjoy the weather outside.

"Always choose outdoors over indoor, always choose masking over or not masking, and always choose more space for fewer people over a smaller space," said Dr. Emily Landon, hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at the University of Chicago Medicine, according to MPRNews.

Here are some of the most commonly-opted summer activities and the level of risks associated with it.

1. A backyard gathering with another family



 

Meeting a small family outdoors is not very risky. In fact, it is a low to medium risk activity. "If you have a gathering with one other household that [has] followed social distancing, this would be a low-risk activity," said  Dr. Judith Guzman-Cottrill, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Oregon Health & Science University, according to MPRNews. 

However, it also depends on a few other factors. However, it is possible to negate the risk by avoiding the sharing of drinks, food, or utensils.

2. Going camping



 

Camping is a common summer activity to get away from busy city life and enjoy the serene sights in the country. It is a low-risk activity but if you are accompanied by other fellow campers, you will need to strictly follow the virus guidelines such as social distancing and hand sanitization.

Otherwise, avoid crowded campsites and other scenarios where you need to share restrooms or spaces with unknown people. An isolated campsite with your close family members is the best option.

3. Exercising outdoors



 

Having spent a lot of time indoors, the idea is getting outside itself makes one feel energized. Therefore, with the weather so warm and sunny, many of you might want to go for a jog or play sports. Exercising outside is a low-risk activity but it is better to avoid contact sports such as football or basketball.

"I would personally avoid contact sports until we have a better sense of transmission risk here," said Abraar Karan, the Harvard physician. However, a run in a non-crowded area is the best form of exercise at this time.

"If you're not on a crowded path where people are brushing past each other, then I think that's a great form of exercise right now," said Kimberly Powers, the UNC epidemiologist, according to MPRNews. 

4. A day at a popular pool or beach 

This a low-risk activity as long as you follow the guidelines carefully. Make sure that you stay at least 6 feet away from strangers and find a safe space for you and dear ones. Watch out for crowded restrooms and entry points, where you may forget about social distancing. 

If you concerned about using the common pool, you need not worry. According to Dr. Andrew Janowski, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Washington University, "The sheer volume of water will dilute out the virus, making the water a highly unlikely source of infection." But, social distancing is important even when you are in the pool.

5. An outdoor celebration with more than 10 guests



 

Summer is usually a peak time for families to gather together for a bright, sunny wedding ceremony or a fun barbeque. These occasions at the time of the pandemic come under medium to high-risk categories. Therefore, there are discouraged by authorities and health experts.

"Outdoors reduces the risk, but as people are celebrating and drinking, it seems like they may not social distance as readily. These types of events end up being large crowds where people are having extended face to face conversations," said Karan, according to MPRNews. 

However, if it is an inevitable celebration, make your guest list smaller and avoid inviting elderly guests and those with underlying medical conditions.

6. Staying at a hotel 

A hotel stay is relatively a low-risk activity. It is better to stay in your room than to spend excess time in the common areas of the hotel such as the lobby or the restaurant. Interacting and coming in contact with strangers can increase the risk.

Another area that can be of high risk in a hotel is the elevator. "Beware of the elevators! Use the knuckle of your little or ring finger to press the buttons," explains Dr. William Miller, an epidemiologist at Ohio State University.

Meanwhile, you can be extra careful by using disinfecting wipes to clean objects such as TV, remote, Mirror etc. You can also remove the bedspreads to additional safety. 

No matter what you plan to do, make sure you weigh the pros and cons. Additionally, take all the CDC precautionary measures and make wise decisions. 

References: 

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/05/23/npr-camping-dining-out-heres-how-experts-rate-risks-14-summer-activities
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html