Fourth of July fireworks shows, cookouts and beach vacations will look very different this year. As Covid-19 cases continue to surge across the country, the issue of how to celebrate and socialize safely is top of mind for many Americans.
This weekend is “set up a perfect storm” for virus transmission, Dr. Joshua Barocas, infectious disease physician and assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine, said in an Infectious Disease Society of America briefing Wednesday. The combination of travel, reopening and people relaxing guidelines contribute to the increased risk.
Here’s how to minimize your risk of Covid-19 this Fourth of July:
Stay home with only those you live with
Though people may understandably find it challenging, the best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home. We need to balance safety with “our individual and societal need for interactions,” Barocas said.
It’s important to remember that “the virus isn’t gone,” Barocas said. In fact, Covid-19 is surging in many states. And the fewer people you interact with, the less of a risk you have of contracting Covid-19.
“The most surefire way to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19 is to continue to shelter in place and stay at home, even if local and state jurisdictions don’t have these orders in place,” Barocas said. If the prospect of being around people or crowds makes you nervous, don’t do it.
Wear a mask and don’t forget the basics
If you are around other people, remember the key Covid-19 prevention measures: practice good hand hygiene, maintain social distance and wear a mask in public places. (Wearing a mask is completely safe to do, and it will not cause CO2 poisoning or lower your oxygen intake.)
“These [rules] all still apply,” Barocas said. “They protect you and they can protect people around you.
If you’re socializing with other people outside of your household, it’s best to do it outside, where there’s more airflow and room for respiratory droplets to disperse, Barocas said. While outside, you should still maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others, and of course, wear a mask.
If you can’t hang outside, then the CDC suggests opening windows to increase ventilation.
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