12 vacation activities that put you at high risk for COVID-19

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Holidays are traditionally an opportunity to meet up with family, friends and even strangers with warm hearts. But sadly, in 2020, such friendliness can put your health – and even your life – at risk.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we will all need to be more careful this year.

Doctors on the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Working Group and its Infectious Disease Committee recently ranked vacation activities based on their vulnerability to coronavirus infection. Each of the 34 activities was rated from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most risky activities.

According to the TMA, the 12 holiday events that put you at moderately high or high risk of contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are:

  • Celebrate New Years Eve in a bar or nightclub: 10
  • Attend a large indoor party with singing: 10
  • Attend a college party: 10
  • Watch a homecoming dance: 9
  • Participation in a cultural or religious event indoors: 8
  • Organize a Christmas party with friends or family: 8
  • Caroling with a group: 8
  • Shopping in person in stores on Black Friday: 8
  • Super Bowl Party Attendance: 8
  • Participation in an indoor sporting event: 8
  • Participation in a fair or an indoor craft market: 7
  • Take photos with Santa Claus: 7

At the other end of this spectrum are activities that carry low or moderately low risk, including:

  • Traveling by car to visit family or friends: 3
  • Thanksgiving dinner with family or household members: 3
  • Join a Physically Remote Outdoor Scavenger Event: 2
  • Give canned food: 1
  • Sending a letter to Santa Claus: 1
  • Build a snowman with your household: 1
  • Displaying Christmas Lights With Your Family In Your Car: 1
  • Watching Home Movies With Your Household: 1
  • Do a Virtual Turkey Trot or Holiday Race: 1
  • Online shopping for gifts: 1

You can view the full rankings on the TMA website.

When ranking these activities, doctors assumed that participants “would wear a mask whenever possible, stay at least six feet from people who are not members of the household, and wash their hands frequently.”

In an announcement regarding the ranking, Dr Trish Perl, a member of the TMA COVID-19 task force and infectious disease specialist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said:

“Where there are fewer people or more ability to distance themselves socially or physically, it will be safer. Think about other ways to connect, like FaceTime, and include them in the celebration without actually being there. Remember, no hugs for grandma this year.

Earlier this year, the TMA released a list of the daily places and activities that make you most vulnerable to coronavirus infection. To learn more, see “15 places where you are most likely to catch the coronavirus”.

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