60 Percent of Virus Experts Wouldn't Do These 6 Things Right Now, Data Shows

Would they eat inside? Head to the movies? Attend an indoor wedding? Find out what they said.

The summer of 2021 wasn't exactly what many of us hoped it would be. Weeks ofclimbing vaccination ratesand declining COVID cases in the spring had many of envisioning a summer of increased freedoms likeeating in restaurants旅行,不用担心,与frie和采集nds and family for long overdue milestone celebrations. But soon, those statistics turned in the opposite directions as theDelta variant took hold; instead, it was case numbers that started climbing and vaccination rates slowing down. Recently many of us have been left to consider once again if activities we thought were safe truly are amid the current Delta surge. To get some insight on that, in August,STAT News contacted nearly 30 epidemiologists, immunologists, and other infectious disease experts across the U.S. to ask them what they thought was low risk and what they'd stay away from as Delta cases continued to climb. While there were a couple activities the majority of them deemed to be relatively safe—like getting a haircut and attending alarge outdoor event—there were six things the virus experts largely said they wouldn't do right now, especially without a mask. Read on to find out what they are.

Go on a non-essential international trip

Travelers on a plane wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic

Virus experts who wouldn't do it:59 percent (16 of 27)

Carlos del Rio, MD, aprofessor of epidemiologyand global health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, told STAT that he has visited his mother in Mexico twice since the pandemic started, but he wouldn't make the trip now. "I am very careful when I travel," he wrote to the news outlet via email. "At this point I am not going [to Mexico]. May go later in the year."

Carl Bergstrom, anevolutionary biologistat the University of Washington, andWilliam Hanage, PhD, anepidemiologistin Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, both said they wouldn't travel internationally at the moment out of fear of getting stuck shouldrestrictions change.

RELATED:Major Airlines Are Now Banning This One Type of Mask.

Go to an indoor wedding or other religious service

Bride, groom and wedding guests making a toast

Virus experts who wouldn't do it:59 percent (16 of 27)

When asking the virus experts whether or not they would go to an indoor wedding or religious service, STAT specified that it would be a gathering where they did not know the vaccination status of the other attendees, which seemed to move the experts in the "no" direction.

Saskia Popescu, PhD, aninfectious disease specialistand assistant professor in George Mason University's biodefense program, said even with a mask, she wouldn't go to a wedding. Emergency physicianUché Blackstock, MD, founder and CEO ofAdvancing Health Equity, said she'd skip any large gatherings at this point, even those taking place outdoor.

Eat indoors in a restaurant

Couple having dinner at a restaurant

Virus experts who wouldn't do it:67 percent (18 of 27)

According to STAT's findings, eating indoors was a complex issue for many of the expert respondents. Six said they would eat inside or would do so during off hours, and three more said they would dine inside but would wear a mask when they weren't eating or drinking.

Saad B. Omer, PhD, director of theYale Institute for Global Health表示,他将在室内吃requ如果餐馆ired proof of vaccination. But many agreed withepidemiologistJohn Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children's Hospital, that they'd "prioritize eating outside where possible."

Go to a movie theater

people sitting with masks inside a movie theater
XArtProduction / Shutterstock

Virus experts who wouldn't do it:81 percent (22 of 27)

WhileShweta Bansal, PhD, anassociate professor of biologyat Georgetown University, called this activity "non-essential" and said she wouldn't do it at the moment, Hanage andFlorian Krammer, animmunologistat the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said they would go to the movies but would wear a mask.

RELATED:Virus Experts Have Stopped Going to These 4 Places as Delta Surges.

Send an vaccinated teen to school without a mask

high school students walking down a school hallway

Virus experts who wouldn't do it:89 percent (24 of 27)

Most virus experts said they'd only send a vaccinated teen to school if masks were required, but there were some complex answers to that question, STAT reported.

On one end of the spectrum wasMichael Osterholm, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota'sCenter for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, who said he'd specifically have a vaccinated teen wear an N95, noting thatcloth face masks don't protectagainst a variant as contagious as Delta.

On the other end of the spectrum wasEllen Foxman, MD, animmunologist at Yale University. She said she would send a vaccinated teen to a school without a mask mandate in certain situations. "If the school required all students and staff to be vaccinated, I would have no problem whatsoever with no masks," she said, noting she'd be more inclined to do so if there was a low COVID transmission rate in the area and if there was no one of high risk in her household.

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Send an unvaccinated child to school without a mask

kids getting on a school bus

Virus experts who wouldn't do it:100 percent (27 of 27)

When asked if they would send an unvaccinated child to school without a mask, the virus experts were unanimous. "NO!!! As a parent and a pediatrician, that is a terrible idea,"Andrew Pavia, MD,chief of pediatric infectious diseasesat the University of Utah, wrote to STAT. Del Rio said he'd take his unvaccinated child out of any school that didn't have a mask mandate andPaul Offit, MD,pediatric infectious disease specialistat Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, simply replied: "Lord, no."

RELATED:An Increasing Number of COVID Outbreaks Are Tied to This One Activity.

Jaimie Etkin
Jaimie is the Editor-in-Chief of Best Life.Read more
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