While experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci tell us to avoid crowds and bars to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many of us are still wondering what other places—in addition to watering holes—we should be avoiding at all costs. So we at Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with an Infectious Diseases Specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Debra Goff, PharmD, FIDSA, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, who told us the places that are on her coronavirus black list. Read on to stay healthy, and also don't miss this essential list of the Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You might want to avoid sailing the friendly seas until after the pandemic is under control. Despite the fact that many ships are starting to sail once again, Dr. Goff isn't planning on boarding a sea vessel anytime soon. "It is a contained closed environment with large numbers of people," she points out. Early in the pandemic, major coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships were grabbing headlines daily, with over 40 vessels reporting cases. One ship alone, the Diamond Princess, had over 700 infections.
Large Indoor Gatherings
Indoor weddings, funerals, birthday parties, retirement bashes, and pretty much every possible large event thelp indoors has one thing in common—the potential to be a coronavirus superspreader event. Endless outbreaks have been tied to large gatherings of people across the country, and Dr. Goff won't be a guest at one of these until the pandemic is under control. Even if people have the best intentions, and show up wearing a mask, chances are they will take it off at some point. "People need to remove their face-masks to eat and drink," she points out. "The lack of face-masks plus confined closed space makes this risky."
Related: 5 tips for coping with stress and isolation during the pandemic
Dinner at a Friend's House
A friend invites you over for dinner. How risky can that be? You trust your friend, and you won't be in a public place, so everything should be fine, right? Not-so-much, according to Dr. Goff. "Lack of face masks in a confined closed space makes this risky," she points out. If you do get invited for dinner, request an al fresco meal. "Eat outside to decrease the risk," she suggests.
Broadway and most live theaters have yet to open their curtains, but many movie theaters are welcoming movie goers back. While a dark theater, the latest Will Smith flick and a tub of popcorn may seem like the perfect escape, Dr. Goff warns against a day at the theater. "Being in a closed space for two or more hours with strangers makes this risky," she points out. Until coronavirus is an afterthought, you are better off streaming a movie at home and microwaving a bag of popcorn.
Buses, trains, subways, and all other sorts of public transportation involves packing a bunch of people into a small enclosed space, which is the perfect environment for a virus to spread. If you can, avoid public transportation, warns Dr. Goff—she is. "The inability to social distance and potential to encounter people without face masks makes this risky," she points out. So avoid those spaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.