Infectologists and public health experts assure that 80% of the transmission of the coronavirus is concentrated in six places.
This does not mean that the virus cannot be contracted elsewhere. In fact, the coronavirus circulates in markets, homes, gyms, outdoors. That is why the use of masks: to always be protected and protect others.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (CDC), among other experts In public health, they assure that there are specific places where the risk of spreading the virus is greater.
These places are:
As Kaiser Health News editor Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal said in an op-ed column, “Viruses are not villains chasing their prey; they are passive opportunists. Some are spread through food or when left on surfaces. Others, like this coronavirus, can be transmitted through tiny droplets that can remain in the air after an infected person coughs, speaks, or breathes. The virus spreads more easily indoors and, in particular, in crowded and poorly ventilated places ”.
The bars, and especially the bars of the bars, are then, by definition, places conducive to propagation. The 6-foot (two-meter) social distancing does not apply. People seek to be together, to talk, and of course to drink, something that cannot be done with a mask.
The same consumption of alcohol can blur the rules that were followed an hour or two ago.
A CDC report in September revealed that people diagnosed with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have visited an indoor facility in the two weeks prior to receiving word that they were infected.
2. Social gatherings: weddings, birthdays, celebrations
A person who is incubating the infection and who still does not have symptoms, or even if they never develop them, can spread the coronavirus.
That is why infectologists say that social gatherings that bring together many people are “hot spots” for dissemination.
That explains why this virus is contracted in “super spread” events. A person who is shedding a large amount of viruses still feels well enough to spend celebrating in a cramped space (probably indoors) where people loudly share with others. And, like the bars, they cannot wear masks because they are eating and drinking.
Three points to identify these events:
- Multiple people indoors, where social distancing is often more difficult.
- Ventilation: a place with little fresh air.
- Vocalization: talking, shouting or singing, which can make the virus stay in the air longer.
Although they are operating at 50% or 25% of their capacity, the restaurants are still closed spaces. So while time helps, the outside must beat the inside.
With the spread from person to person and by air (see explanation below), the closed space has become the scene of super spreads, where for example, of the 200 guests at a wedding, 80 were infected.
A study conducted in Japan found that indoor air humidity can help spread the coronavirus.
Although less crowded than restaurants and bars, cafes have also proven to be the focus of outbreaks.
According to the CDC report, the main problem with cafes is the time people spend in them. Customers often settle with their computers and devices for hours, putting them at greater risk of coming into contact with the coronavirus.
Although there are no crowds, the circulation of people in the hotels is high, and, although disinfected, the same room goes from tourist to tourist.
Therefore, the CDC recommendation is not to travel. Trips, especially long ones, may require a stop at hotels or rest areas where there are common high-contact surfaces.
6. Places of worship
Unfortunately, one of the activities in which more viruses are “shot” is through singing. In religious sites it is sung and recited.
The CDC study found that 7.8% of people who tested positive for COVID had been in a house of worship.
Why confined spaces and crowds are dangerous
Based on the experience that the scientific community had with other coronaviruses, and from the data that emerged, it was determined almost immediately that, with greater frequency, the virus that causes COVID-19 enters the body of people when viral particles “land ”In their hands and touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.
These viral particles that can enter an organism are expelled by an infected person by coughing, sneezing, or simply talking. Therefore, a social distance of 6 feet (2 meters) was established as an effective form of prevention.
A virus is something so small that you cannot see it. As viral particles are expelled, they float in the air for a time and then fall. If they “land” on a surface, they can stay there for hours or even days, and a person can also become infected by running their hand over one of those surfaces and then touching their face.
This theory is the one that the World Health Organization (WHO) has held for months.
However, the organization is now reviewing its position, after more than 200 scientists from around the world signed a letter requesting the WHO to analyze the transmission of the new coronavirus by air.
Now what is the difference? Because to simple reading it seems the same: the virus is still in the air.
the difference is that in airborne transmission, the viral particles do not fall rapidly after being expelled, but rather they stay in the air floating for hours after an infected person spoke, coughed, sneezed, or breathed.
This form of spread generates more potential cases because the person no longer has to be near another who carries the coronavirus to be at risk. If the virus particles remain in the air for hours, simply walking around the area can expose the person to contagion.
Don’t be careless anywhere
The fact that the experts list a list of places of greater risk does not mean that in other places the coronavirus cannot be contracted.
This is why it is essential to follow basic and simple public health rules: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.
Supermarkets and clothing stores, or other facilities, can function safely with mandatory masks, distancing, and disinfection. We don’t go to these places to chat or socialize, and we can all wear masks inside.
Sources: CDC, scientific studies.