How Coronavirus Will Impact Summer Activities for OC Residents
Following a long shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, states and local communities have begun reopening. As we enter the summer season, the reopening has brought the prospect of large gatherings at pools, beaches, playgrounds, and local marketplaces, along with the potential to contribute to a surge in cases.
The physicians at Family Care Centers advise continued caution as we try to move forward and urge the local Orange County communities to realize that COVID-19 risk is still high.
The rising temperature and the coronavirus
There are some unsubstantiated theories that coronavirus viability is reduced with increased temperatures and humidity. This has led many to return to unsafe behaviors, such as gathering in large crowds, not using face masks in public places, etc.
“We should not let ourselves be lulled into a false sense of security that this virus will slow down during the summer,” says Dr. Aisha Memon, a board-certified family medicine physician at Family Care Centers Medical Group in Costa Mesa, CA. “The spread did not slow in countries near the equator, and those places are hotter and more humid than California,” she clarified.
Although there is some initial research hinting of a warm weather slowdown, scientists are still waiting for more data and have made it clear that it may take at least a few more months to reach any consensus about the virus’ behavior in summer.
Is it safe to go to beaches, pools, or other summer fun spots amid COVID-19?
While most people are aware of the risks of gathering in large crowds, there’s still high attendance at places like beaches, pools, and water parks. However, the likelihood of COVID-19 being spread through water is low. According to the CDC, “There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds.”
While it’s unlikely that you may contract the virus from water, that doesn’t mean that there is no risk of going to the pool or beach. The chances of spread through physical touch and respiratory droplets still remains high. Adults older than 65 and those with underlying health conditions should stay cautious and avoid going to crowded places.
“Adults with underlying conditions, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and chronic respiratory or lung disease, are at highest risk and they should avoid close contact in any type of gatherings,” says Dr. Katayun Saadai, Internist at Family Care Centers Medical Group, Fountain Valley, CA. She adds, “For the high-risk population, effectively taking care of their primary medical problems, continuing to exercise indoors, staying away from sick people, and practicing physical distancing in public places are their best chance at avoiding COVID-19 effectively.”
How do I protect my children while letting them enjoy summer activities?
Parents are faced with challenges of being creative and keeping their kids entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person summer camps are still an option but be sure to abide by safety and cleaning protocols as well as consider changing your usual spots and choosing a less crowded place. Another option could be virtual summer camps where kids can still enjoy the activities and social interactions from the safety of their home. Furthermore, you can set aside time to spend with your kids and enjoy family activities, such as playing games, biking, or even camping in your backyard.
What to keep in mind while planning any outside activity for the family
As states and local communities reopen, you may have your own reasons to go out and enjoy the summer. However, it’s wise to consider certain variables for a family outing. “The place you’d visit, the number of persons present, the available space for practicing physical distancing, and the amount of time you may be exposed to the virus are the key factors that should shape how your family ventures out,” says Dr. Memon.
The advantages of choosing outdoor over indoor activities are that the circulating air currents rapidly disperse the virus and there’s more elbow room to keep 6 feet or more apart. It's much easier to keep viral particles distant out of doors.
The main way the coronavirus spreads from one person to another is through respiratory droplets. That's why it's still important to use face masks to cover your nose and mouth. Pay attention to the infection rate in your local area to make further decisions on how to enjoy the summer.
Contact us at a location near you for more information about COVID-19 or to schedule a medical visit for urgent and primary health conditions. You can also connect with our providers via telehealth video visits to receive immediate medical assistance from the safety of your home.
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