What’s More Risky, Going to a Bar or Opening the Mail?
By David Doolittle


Remember the board game Risk, where the goal was basically to take over the world?

Well, let’s play Risk COVID-19, in which you try to guess which activities put people more at risk for contracting the coronavirus that causes the disease. Find answers at the end of the article.

Ready? Here we go.

What’s more risky:

  1. Spending an hour at a playground or grocery shopping?
  2. Going to a beach or going camping?
  3. Working a week in an office building or staying two nights in a hotel?
  4. Going to a hair salon/barbershop or visiting a library/museum?
  5. Going to a bar or sitting in a doctor’s waiting room?

By now you probably have a good idea of which activities pose a greater risk catching COVID-19, so this might have been easy.

Your patients probably have a good idea of what’s risky, too.

But if they don’t, the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases have created a chart that ranks activities on their risk level for COVID-19. The levels are based on input from the physician members of the task force and the committee, who worked from the assumption that – no matter the activity – participants were taking as many safety precautions as they can.

Click on the chart below for a printable version to share on your social media accounts or to display it in your office. A Spanish-language version is also available.

But that's not all. TMA also has published a chart that ranks common winter activities, such as building a snowman with your household, ice skating at an indoor or outdoor rink, and caroling with a group. That chart is also available in black and white for printing.

And don’t forget to remind your patients that no matter what they do, it’s best if they stay home if possible, wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance when they have to go out, and practice safe hand hygiene.

Find the chart and other tools, resources, and information on TMA’s COVID-19 resource page, which is updated constantly.

Finally, if you haven’t figured it out by now, the first activity listed in every question above is more risky – some much more than others.


Last Updated On

November 23, 2020

Originally Published On

July 02, 2020

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