At this point during the pandemic, you can pretty much catch the virus from anyone and anywhere. However, it is safe to presume that there are some places which are riskier than others. If recent studies are to go by, there still is one particular place which adds to concerns more than any other place. While a lot of people will be making plans to step outside during the New Year as well, it’s important to treat this cautionary piece of advice as important, if you want to cut down on your COVID risk. Here, you will get to know the Riskiest Place To Catch Coronavirus.
Riskiest Place To Catch Coronavirus
Supermarkets are the Riskiest Place To Catch Coronavirus. While a lot of us do believe that eating out and visiting restaurants is probably the most unsafe thing to do right now, a recent survey done by the NHS, UK, wherein a record number of new COVID mutation cases are also being observed found that most people reported visiting a grocery store or a supermarket before developing symptoms, or being diagnosed COVID+.
Be super cautious of visiting supermarkets, as per experts
PHE (Public Health England) and NHS collected data of people who tested positive for coronavirus in the weeks of November, using the Test and Trace app.
While the PHE didn’t certify supermarkets as the #1 infectious place, a close analysis of those who tested positive, their close contacts observed that visiting a supermarket or a crowded store was one of the most frequent locations people had been to, before testing positive.
What is more surprising is that supermarkets remained to be one of the places to remain open even when regions across the UK were put under lockdown again. The same was the scenario across many countries, wherein supermarkets and stores fall under the essential category, adding to suspicion and fears.
We may not realize it but the biggest danger emerges from the frequent objects you are coming in contact with at the store and not the food or product supply in itself.
A grocery store or a supermarket has a lot of aisles placed close to each other. There’s always the added risk that you are going to be touching an object which could have been touched by someone infectious before, as the virus can linger on surfaces for a long while.
Why is shopping such a risky activity?
Secondly, the stores can be full of people, even with restrictions and social distancing may not be always possible, which considerably increases your risk of catching infections from a place where multiple people visit.
Another study conducted by the BMJ journal months back found that supermarkets and grocery stores carry a whopping 18.6% infection rate, much higher than schools, nursing homes, hotels, restaurants and even public washrooms.
What’s raising the risk?
Experts also believe that the rise in asymptomatic transmission (which accounts for 40% COVID cases in the world) may also be fuelling risk. Bad sanitation, mask hygiene can make problems worse- both for the customers and the employees.
Even though retailers have installed super strict measures and people are more aware of the precautionary tips to follow, do remember that grocery shopping is an essential practice which most people will go to. Hence, there will always be a bad risk there.
What are some other risky places to visit?
The UK-based survey also found that people were also at risk of catching COVID-19 after paying a visit to public institutions, restaurants, cafes, gyms- but strangely, much lesser than what shopping would entail.
How can you make shopping safer?
Lockdown or not, one really cannot avoid shopping or picking up essential commodities. However, if you really want to cut down your risk, try curtailing your in-store visits and having your supplies delivered. If you are someone who belongs to a high-risk category, stay at home. You don’t know how COVID-19 can affect you. If at all you cannot avoid stepping out, it’s always advisable to practice a few extra precautions- sanitize your hands, use gloves, wear a face mask absolutely and maintain a safe distance from others. Avoid touching common surfaces such as the shopping cart handle, shelves or billing countertops- which are some of the germiest places in a shopping store- COVID or not.