According to this article – written by a Professor of Health Sciences, a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and… er… a Research Scientist punching way above his weight – being with a lot of people, in a poorly ventilated space, without face coverings or while singing, shouting and exercising, (or any combination of the above) can result in a higher likelihood of you catching Covid-19.
This isn’t new news, of course. We’ve known all of these things for quite a while, but the authors here have come up with a way of putting a figure on each of the scenarios. They’ve even made a calculator for you to estimate your own risk in doing whatever you are doing, including how long you are doing it for.
But these are just estimates. We can’t put an exact figure on any of this. And we can’t say that being with someone silently, outdoors, with a mask on, in the breeze means that you won’t get Covid. This is a Swiss Cheese Defence, where no one single precaution will prevent transmission completely, but where a combination of efforts can limit your chances of being infected. The more precautions you take, the more likely you are to avoid getting it.
Of course, underpinning all of this is our best weapon: the vaccine. That’s the single thing you can do to protect yourself and your family more than anything else.
This is especially important to understand with the Omicron variant, given that it is so much more infectious than the previous iterations of the virus. And I know that you knew all this already, but there are an increasing number of people who are proclaiming that the pandemic is over, and thus giving up on the measures to stop it, and that is still a bit of a stretch. We’re not there yet.
Avoid klapping gym boet in an overcrowded Crossfit place built in a light industrial unit.
Or going to church.