The weather is getting warmer. The days are getting longer. Some shops reopened. And California is slowly reducing the limits of protection given to us during this pandemic. In other words, we will get out of our homes a little more after weeks of being locked up in the entire state.
But this is not the same world as we remembered before. There are new questions about personal contact and social distance. There are new concerns about infections in the environment around us. Chronicle spoke with several health experts about how we can navigate the Gulf Region without contracting the corona virus.
Q: What are the transmission rates for people who are outside? Are they taller than inside?
A: Exercise outside decreases the likelihood of spreading the virus by 10 compared to the same level of activity in the room, said Dr. Gary Green, Medical Director of Infection Control, Santa Rosa Sutter Regional Hospital. The main danger is exercising outside the home with others because the tendency is to pile into the car to reach the trail and then gather once you are there: “People are accustomed to gathering before and after exercising and you want to be careful.”
Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the UCSF School of Medicine, said that in all circumstances outside the home it is safer than indoors. It’s easier to keep a social distance and viruses don’t have many opportunities to spread. That is why TB patients are always placed in fresh air. “If you want to meet people, meet them outside,” he said. “It’s all about risk reduction.”
Q: Are there worse places outside for virus transmission? Like, is the beach better than a park?
A: Not an important arrangement, but a crowd. When the sun goes down, people tend to make umbrellas for the shade and the crowd below them. It must be avoided. Coronavirus “prefers cold weather over hot weather, and prefers low altitude over likes high altitude,” Chin-Hong said. “But that likes people more than hot or cold.”
Q: How long does the virus live on grass or trees? Is it safe to sit on the grass in the park?
A: Unless you immediately occupy a piece of grass where someone else sits or touches the exact same place in a tree that someone else touches, it’s highly unlikely that a virus will live there. Fences and public toilets are far more dangerous.
The virus “does not like grass or trees or clothes,” said Chin-Hong. “I would rate this as a low-risk surface.”
Q: Will sunlight clean surfaces that contain viruses?
A: Yes “On a warm day in the air outside the virus will only last for a few minutes in the sun,” Green said. “The warmer the day, the faster the virus dries.”
Q: Do runners who breathe while exercising have the potential to spread the virus more than someone who just walks? And should we be worried about people running past us on the sidewalk or footpath?
A: There is no scientific data to show that runners have more virus spread than pedestrians, according to Green. “If everyone wears a mask, and practices maintaining social distance, the short amount of time a runner walks with a walker is a minimum risk of exposure.”
However, singing and speaking out loud have emerged as activities that can produce significantly more virus droplets than normal activities and thus spread the virus. So pay attention to noisy pedestrians, not mute runners.
Chin-Hong recommends a simple solution. “If you can’t control your environment, wear a mask.”
Q: Do people who run or cycle create a “slip stream” that has the potential to push the virus towards you?
A: There is no data about this scenario, which has led to several online discussions. If everyone wears a mask, there is little or no danger.
Q: Are there masks that allow you to breathe better when you exercise?
A: Doctors agree that standard surgical masks are the best for exercising and N95 masks – which are commonly used by house painters, and newer during forest fires – are the worst because they become uncomfortable when exercising and breathing heavily. “The N95 mask is more like a respirator,” Dr. Green He also recommends opposing and anything that has buttons on it. “The button is open and allows breathing to escape the ventilation,” he said. “This ventilated mask does not protect the public. That’s why we never use it in hospitals. “
A double cloth mask is effective but it can be difficult to inhale during strong exercises.
Chin-Hong advised runners and pedestrians to wear cloth masks around the neck that can be easily pulled when passing other people.
Q: Does sweat make it easier to transfer viruses? If you meet people who are sweating, is that something to worry about?
A: Not really because COVID-19 is caused by a respiratory virus. “We are really only interested in oral secretions and nasal secretions,” Green said.
“The risk of random sweat evaporating on you is very small,” said Chin-Hong, “unless that person walks around you in a circle and creates a COVID sauna.”
Q: Does wind affect virus transmission? Can it blow the virus to me?
A: Wind is your friend in defense against viruses. “It spreads the virus much faster and thins it down, which lowers the risk of infection,” Chin-Hong said. “This virus tries to jump from an infected person, the wind creates turbulence and disrupts the path of the virus,” he added.
Q: Does chlorine kill viruses in swimming pools?
A: “Disinfectants are good for viruses in general and chlorine is disinfectants, so that’s good,” Chin-Hong said. “You don’t need to wear a mask when swimming. Maintain a distance of six feet and if you do another round, swim in an alternative path.” Keeping the distance in the dressing room is more of a problem.
Q: How long does a coronavirus last in the air?
A: This virus can linger as droplets in the air for up to three hours Journal of New England Medicine; and it can travel at least 13 feet with aerosols emitted by breathing or speaking – twice as far as the phsycial distance guidelines set, according to reports by CDC.
Talking can release thousands of liquid droplets per second which can remain suspended in the air for 8 to 14 minutes, according to a study conducted under experimental conditions by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The mask is effective in blocking, or at least limiting, your exposure to these infectious virus drops and aerosol particles.
Q: Can the virus travel with your shoes?
A: Yes Samples were taken from the soles of medical staff working in an intensive care unit in a hospital in Wuhan, China, where a coronavirus outbreak began, tested positive for coronaviruses on their shoe soles.
“Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes can function as carriers,” according to the study, published in the CDC Emerging infectious diseases a journal.
Outside hospital settings, the CDC does not offer advice on handling footwear but some good general guidelines to follow are leaving your shoes at the door when entering your home, minimizing handling and making sure to wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces they have. come into contact with after touching them.
If your shoes are machine washable, follow the laundry guidelines below to clean them.
Still, Chin-Hong warns against an infected scenario of tracking your shoes in a virus. “I don’t know of any data that supports that someone has gotten it from the sidewalk. The probability is very small. You have to rub your hands on the sidewalk and then put your hand in your mouth.”
Q: How long can a virus live on an outer surface like, say, the structure of a basketball hoop?
A: “We know that viruses prefer cold and hard than warm and soft surfaces and the poles are good for that,” Dr. Chin-Hong. “But if you don’t touch your face, and wash your hands, it doesn’t matter where you find it.”
Chronicle reporter Aidin Vaziri contributed to this report.
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