Believe it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has been active for more than a year now. Unfortunately, case numbers still remain at high levels in several countries around the world. It's imperative to keep up with health guidelines to stop the spread of this dangerous sickness from reaching you as well as your loved ones.
If you need a refresher on coronavirus safety tips, you've come to the right place! In this article, we'll explore how you can safely navigate public places, dining, and travel.
How To Stay Safe From COVID-19 in Public Places
To maintain optimal coronavirus protection, you have to adhere to a variety of practices. By now, quite a few of these are probably already part of your everyday life. But it never hurts to remind yourself as well as others of why we must all continue adhering to these measures.
We'd be remiss to not mention face masks. Wearing face mask protection drastically decreases the number of harmful airborne particles that your mouth and nose interact with. Donning a face mask in public is especially vital for your health since many people are asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers. This means that face masks often mean the difference between preserving your health and becoming sick when you're in close proximity to others.
Besides acting as a barrier between you and airborne COVID-19 particles, face masks also help you avoid touching your face. While this isn't a primary transmission method of the coronavirus, it is still possible to contract this illness by picking up surface germs and touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
You should also make sure to wash your hands with soap frequently. Do this every time you return home from being out in public. Lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds when washing them. And don't forget to take a hand sanitizer bottle with you whenever you're out and about.
Lastly, keep on social distancing to the best of your abilities. Airborne COVID-19 droplets can travel quite far from coughing, sneezing, or even just speaking. So always try to maintain a distance of six feet from others when you're out in public, even if you have a face mask on.
COVID-19 Restaurant Safety Tips
It's probably been a while since many of us have eaten inside of a restaurant. While several eateries have reopened for dining in during the last few months, it's still not completely safe to do so. In fact, a recent CDC study found that "Adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results."
In case you think the above-mentioned results only applied to eating inside a restaurant, they also actually apply to eating outside the building as well. This is because proper social distancing in a restaurant environment is difficult to maintain, whether you're inside the building or out on the patio. In both instances, dining patrons remove their masks to eat and drink. So it's quite easy to see how respiratory droplet transmission increases in this setting.
Still considering dining in? Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
Does your restaurant of choice offer outdoor dining spaces? Try to get a seat there then. Municipalities across the U.S. have enabled eateries to expand their outdoor seating areas since these carry less transmission risk than indoor environments. essentially, outdoor dining areas reduce the amount of recirculated particles in the air. And if tables are spaced out by six feet or more, that's even better.
Get More Info by Calling Ahead
Call your restaurant ahead of your dining experience to find out more about its COVID-19 safety policies. This also gives you an opportunity to check if your eatery offers outside dining. If it doesn't, inquire about its indoor dining safety measures. Last but certainly not least, inquire about when its off-peak hours are. Consider going during this time, because it means that the restaurant is less crowded, which translates to lower exposure risk.
Wear a Face Mask When Not Eating
If you're walking through crowded areas of a restaurant, wear your face mask. In fact, don it any time you're not eating or drinking.
Your Safest Option? Delivery or Takeout
If you're concerned about getting COVID-19 from eating in, skip the risk. You can still enjoy your favorite restaurant's food through delivery or takeout. And these are actually the best options for your safety; they diminish your COVID-19 exposure risk the most.
COVID-19 Travel Safety Tips
Whether it's by bus, train, or plane, people around the world have resumed traveling by all of the typical means. But a few of these options carry a higher COVID-19 risk than others. Here's how you can make your travels safer:
Consider COVID-19 Levels of the Area You're Coming From
Are COVID-19 levels high in the community you're living in? That means you could potentially be asymptomatically spreading the virus to low-risk areas from a high-risk one.
Consider COVID-19 Levels of the Area You're Traveling to
Besides checking COVID-19 levels of the area you're coming from, also check them at your destination. Are they high? Has your destination experienced a sharp increase in active cases lately? Then don't hesitate to reconsider your trip. Traveling to hot zones is one of the most dangerous things you can do these days.
Check Travel Restrictions
Several countries around the world have implemented travel restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19. Check these for your home locale and destination. Either of these may require that you quarantine for a certain amount of time upon arriving there. These logistical consequences can impact your travels in significant ways.
Coronavirus Airplane Safety
Traveling by airplane carries a large amount of COVID-19 infection risk — particularly before and during the flight. Much fewer people are flying these days. But you could still find yourself in crowded security checks, seating areas, and boarding lines.
Always adhere to the basic COVID-19 safety protocols during these events: Wear your face mask, social distance to the best of your ability, and frequently sanitize your hands.
Numerous airlines are disinfecting their planes between flights and implementing distancing precautions. Since airplanes use circulated, filtered air from outside, your chances of getting COVID-19 during your flight are actually lower than before it. But it's still best to don a face mask, even if your airline is not requiring one.
Your Safest Option? Car Trips
If you and your family are eager to travel, hitting the open road in your car is by far the safest option to satisfy your wanderlust. Make it even safer by cleaning and disinfecting your car before, during, and after your trip.
Also, designate a low-risk person in your party to get gas or pick up road trip snacks at convenience stores along the way. This reduces exposure for your entire party. Ensure that this person wears a mask during these activities and sanitizes their hand before returning to your car.
We hope you've enjoyed this brief overview of COVID-19 safety tips. It can be difficult and exhausting to adhere to coronavirus protection measures, especially after doing so for more than a year. But please remember: We're all in this together. The more that we all practice these safety protocols, the faster that things can return to normal.
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