COVID-19 has redefined risky behavior. So how do we know what’s more risky: getting a haircut, eating inside a restaurant, traveling by plane or shaking someone’s hand?
Trick question. They’re equally risky to our health, according to a new risk-assessment chart produced by the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases. The chart ranks activities by risk level, from opening the mail (low) to going to the beach (moderate) to attending a large music concert (high).
The first four activities mentioned above are each rated moderate-high risk, a 7 on a scale of 10. Physician members of the task force and committee established the levels, with the assumption that people are taking as many necessary safety precautions as possible, no matter the activity.
Here’s the complete list, from lowest to highest risk:
Low Risk: 1
Opening the mail
Low Risk: 2
Getting restaurant takeout
Low-Moderate Risk: 3
Going for a walk, run, or bike ride with others
Low-Moderate Risk: 4
Staying at a hotel for two nights
Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room
Going to a library or museum
Eating in a restaurant (outside)
Walking in a busy downtown
Spending an hour at a playground
Moderate Risk: 5
Having dinner at someone else’s house
Attending a backyard barbecue
Going to a beach
Shopping at a mall
Moderate Risk: 6
Sending kids to school, camp, or day care
Working a week in an office building
Swimming in a public pool
Visiting an elderly relative or friend in their home
Moderate-High Risk: 7
Going to a hair salon or barbershop
Eating in a restaurant (inside)
Attending a wedding or funeral
Traveling by plane
Hugging or shaking hands when greeting a friend
High Risk: 8
Eating at a buffet
Working out at a gym
Going to an amusement park
Going to a movie theater
High Risk: 9
Attending a large music concert
Going to a sports stadium
Attending a religious service with 500-plus worshipers
Going to a bar
For a more colorful, printable, version of the risk-assessment chart, click here.
Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.
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