There's no way to guarantee complete safety from the coronavirus, even if you wear a mask and avoid crowds (which we hope you're doing). But there are ways to tempt fate and needlessly increase your chances of exposure. We asked five doctors what you should never do to avoid catching COVID-19. Here's what they said, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You Don't Social Distance With Friends
"It is a known fact that people have trouble maintaining social distance around people they know well. We lower our guard. Be vigilant in all settings," says Dr. Afrosa Ahmed. "Have a reminder on your phone if needed. This simple intervention can save lives."
You Travel to Highly Infected Places
"The higher the number of newly infected people in a town or a city, the higher the risk that you might get infected as well," says Dr. Dimitar Marinov. "Right now, multiple dashboards track the COVID related numbers live. Make sure to avoid traveling to another location unless completely necessary." Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has expressed concern about Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and Arkansa.
You Vape or Smoke
"Stop smoking and vaping," says Dr. Ugo Iroku. "Vaping has been associated with increased COVID-19 risks in recent studies." "Teenagers and young adults who vape face a much higher risk of COVID-19 than their peers who do not vape, a new study has found," according to a new study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. "Vaping is linked to a substantially increased risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults."
RELATED: COVID Mistakes You Should Never Make
You Eat at Restaurants
"Trade eating at a busy restaurant—even if it's outdoors—for cooking a meal at home with family," says Casey Distaso, MD. "Craving a specific dish? Look up a recipe, write down the ingredients, and make your grocery trip more efficient by planning your route before entering the store."
You Go Out in Big Crowds
"Avoid crowds." Dr. Fauci says it every chance he gets and for good reason. The coronavirus is airborne.
How to Avoid COVID-19
Fauci strongly recommends to wear your face mask and avoid crowds, social distance, only run essential errands and wash your hands frequently. And don't change your phone number without telling your testing center. "It is amazing how many people change their phone number (within hours or days) after testing/diagnosis and are extremely difficult to track down/communicate with," says Dr. Ceppie Merry. "This is not the season for changing phone numbers and if you have to change your number—make sure that your doctor/testing center has your updated number!" And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.