Experts Say Socializing Is Best Done Outdoors

( The United States passed a grim milestone this week, as the death toll from coronavirus has surpassed the 100,000 mark, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
On average, 900 Americans have died each day since the first known death from COVID-19 almost four months ago.
While new confirmed cases as well as deaths from coronavirus have declined in recent weeks, compared to a month ago, there is still plenty of concern of future spikes in this first wave, as well as future waves in the fall or winter.
There have been plenty of mixed messages regarding how best to protect yourself from coronavirus, especially as states begin to re-open more and more businesses and activities. But many scientists now say that the best thing for people to do is to remain outside when they are socializing with others who don’t live in their home.
While doctors say there’s a risk of spreading the virus in any type of crowd, it doesn’t spread as easily outdoors as it does inside. So if you want to socialize as the weather starts to warm up in most parts of the country, it’s best to do so outside — as long as you still say six feet away from each other.
As the associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Erin Bromage, said:
“As long as you’ve got that six feet of distance and you’ve got the air blowing and you just are enjoying each other’s company, then six feet is fine. If you’re exercising and huffing and puffing away from six feet, I would get a little further apart.
“If you put a mask on when outside [while] spending an extended period of time with a friend or somebody, masks help. A standard mask, the ones that we’ve been making, cut things down by 50%. I wear it to protect you, you wear it to protect me.
“But now we’re getting better masks coming out from just local manufacturers that catch more of those respiratory emissions, which then lowers the amount of virus in the air, which just makes it safer.”
Indoors, though, the recommendations are very much different. A recent report published in the journal Science says masks and distance are even more important if you must be indoors with people who you don’t live with.
In the report, authors Kimberly Prather and Dr. Robert Schooley of the University of California, San Diego, and Chia Wang of National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, wrote:
“Evidence suggests that [the novel coronavirus] is silently spreading in aerosols exhales by highly contagious infected individuals with no symptoms. Increasing evidence for [the coronavirus] suggests the six-foot WHO recommendation is likely not enough under many indoor conditions where aerosols can remain airborne for hours, accumulate over time and follow air flows over distances farther than six feet.”
Further, the aerosols that are released into the air from breathing and speaking can stay in the air and remain infectious there for hours.
That’s why experts are recommending you wear masks at all times when congregating with people you don’t live with, and avoid gatherings indoors, if at all possible.