Researcher shifts attitude toward certain social activities

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

What risk are you willing to take this weekend? Are you more comfortable with doing everyday activities, such as going out to eat or going to the beach? Or would you rather stay home?

Two months ago, epidemiologists said they would stick with getting the mail and maybe getting a haircut.

We learned Friday these health experts are starting to shift when it comes to activities they’re willing to do on a daily basis.

When we asked people what normal activities they’re getting back to, it all came to down to their personal lives, what the virus means for them, if they have a baby at home or just had surgery.

That’s what experts told us. Even now, you have to judge the risk for yourself.

“This is one of the first times I’ve been out since February,” said Mark Cobb in Cape Coral. “I had a kidney transplant, and I don’t really go out.”

Or maybe you don’t feel any safer at all.

But time changes things, Cindy Prins told us. She’s an associate professor of epidemiology at UF.

“There was a lot of worry about people going to the beach,” Prins said. “I think we’re less concerned about that now if it’s not a crowded situation.”

Prins says now we know outdoor activities are usually safer.

Prins said. “I’m outside for my exercise.”

Person-to-person spread is more common than surface spread of COVID-19.

“I’m really not taking precautions with my mail,” Prins said. “I am very good about cleaning my hands when I touch objects.”

It’s a shift Prins says from completely throwing out an activity to minimizing risk and adapting if possible.

“I basically go to the dog park. I go to the doctor’s office, and I go through drive-thrus, and that’s my life,” Cobb said. “A little disconcerting. But, overall, that’s what you do to save people from getting sick.”

The epidemiologist we spoke to says she would likely still wait a year or longer to go to a wedding but. But her suggestion, if you are, if possible, make any event outside, socially distanced, and maybe wait to have something bigger a year from now.

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