Visiting public places

I’ve received lots of questions about people trying to find safe places they can visit during this time to take care of their mental and emotional well being. Your overall health can’t be understated, but in this challenging time we need to be extremely careful about where we chose to visit.

This may be difficult for people who frequently visit these places, but we need to find alternatives for the time being.

If you have ANY respiratory illness, do NOT visit public places. The following is for individuals WITHOUT any symptoms:

  • Libraries
    • Not only can the virus live on books, but it can hang around desks, shelves, chairs, door knobs, etc. Best to avoid if at high risk for disease severity.
  • Barbers
    • We all need haircuts, but these are HIGH risk areas because of how much contact even the best cleaned accessories have with our scalp and face. EVERYONE would do well to avoid for now (I’m so sorry that this will hurt our local barbers)
  • Movie theaters
    • Best avoided for high risk, and others should consider avoiding, too.
  • Restaurants
    • This also has large impacts to our community’s financial health. Even though our restaurant owners are very diligent to clean all surfaces, when we eat or have a meeting over food, we are very likely to touch our faces. I would not recommend anyone at HIGH RISK for developing severe disease to go out to eat. Normal risk individuals can decide for themselves.
  • Public transportation
    • Even though BART has had tremendous slowing of ridership this past week, peak hour travel remains a possible hotspot for disease transmission. I personally still take BART, but my commute is at off-hours (and I practice strict hand hygiene!!). HIGH RISK individuals should consider NOT taking public transportation, particularly at peak hours.
  • Gyms

This is not an exhaustive list, but the general rule is to avoid places that have high foot traffic, and by extrapolation, chance of having viral exposure on people and surfaces. Please ask any specific questions!


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5 thoughts on “Visiting public places”

  1. Thank you so much for the list. I am wondering about grocery stores since my husband is in a risk group and we are both boomers. I’m not sure if having things delivered would actually be safer either. We’ve already been staying away from all the places on your list for at least a week.

    1. Very good question: grocery stores at peak hours can certainly be high risk zones (eg weekend at Costco). If you are in a neighborhood with more quiet, less frequented grocery stores, you may be okay (depending on exactly “how” high risk your husband is). Delivery is becoming an increasingly easier option, and may be safer if you handle your deliveries safely (eg wash your hands after handling bags).

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